Title: Radio Drama Production Company
The goal of the KP REACH programme is the reduction in HIV infections and HIV-related deaths among key populations in Southern Africa through improved access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services. We are working with sex workers (SW), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people (TG) and women who have sex with women (WSW). As part of this programme, we are working on a communications campaign to address the stigma and discrimination faced by people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex work. The more stigma and discrimination people from these communities experience in their daily lives from family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and healthcare professions, the less likely they are to feel safe accessing vital HIV prevention and treatment services. Forms of stigma and discrimination include exclusion and isolation, verbal abuse and physical violence.
We conducted research to see what stories and messages would be most likely to reduce stigma and discrimination. We found that when we share stories about human rights violations, there are people who empathise with these stories, however we also found that these stories are unlikely to change behaviour as they reinforce current social norms (i.e. I believe that people like me are stigmatising and discriminating against these groups, so I should too so as not to stand out). Human beings are social animals and behavioural change theory demonstrates that we are more likely to behave according to a social norm than we are our own individual attitudes or even the law!
Therefore, our campaign will aim to show the other side: the unheard stories of people who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or sex workers and their friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, teachers, religious and community leaders and healthcare providers who have come to accept them for who they are over time.
Research showed the stories most likely to change behaviours are ones where the audience can identify with people like themselves who may have struggled with someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or sex work at first but have become more accepting and supportive over time. The more people see that people like them are behaving in this way, the less likely they are to feel that they should discriminate against these groups as a default.
We want to create a radio drama (13 x 5-minute episodes) in each of the 4 countries: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Malawi*.
The objective of the radio drama is to reduce levels of stigma and discrimination experienced by people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or profession of sex work.
The overall outtake we want people to have from the drama is that there are people like them who are behaving more positively towards people with different sexual orientations, gender identities and sex workers. The impact we’d like to have is that stigma and discrimination doesn’t become the default behaviour because people think that is how others like themselves do and should behave. We want to show people there is another way.
The focus of the drama should be portraying stories of people who have become more accepting of a person in their life who may be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or make money from sex work. It is really important that we show people struggling to come to come to terms with this over time as if they come around overnight then the audience cannot identify with this storyline. These people could be friends, family, co-workers (e.g. hotel staff working in close proximity to sex workers), neighbours, teachers, religious and community leaders or healthcare providers. We want to focus on stories that portray people from lower socio-economic backgrounds in rural and/or urban areas.
Research suggests that the following are key ingredients of a good story:
- Focus on a relationship with a family member, friend, co-worker, community leader or teacher who has become more open-minded or supportive over time. Research showed the stories most likely to change behaviours are ones where they can identify with people like themselves who may have struggled with someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or sex work at first but have become more accepting and supportive over time.
- Include the perspectives of both the LGBT person/Sex Worker and the person in their life who has come to embrace them for who they are over time. It is really important that both perspectives are heard and that the LGBT person or Sex Worker is shown as having agency rather than being passive in storyline.
- Show the real face of acceptance. Real acceptance often shows itself in small behaviours that signal acceptance and respect rather than in a single shining moment. Don’t sugar coat it and include the struggle – otherwise people can’t relate.
- Highlights key realisations on change journey of person who went from rejecter to acceptor. Examples include:
- Recognition that LGBT person/Sex Worker is still the person they knew and cared for.
- Recognition of our common humanity (not just what makes us different). E.g. Lots of us want the same things in life – to find love, to play an active part in our communities, to be able to pay our bills and give our children a good start in life etc.
- Empathy through common experience (lots of us have unfortunately experienced stigma and discrimination because of our race, religion, ethnicity, gender etc). When we remind people of this and position stigma and discrimination as a common enemy then this helps drive empathy.
- Another realisation that might be worth exploring as part of one storyline is that different sexual orientations, gender identities have a long history in Africa and are not ‘new’/or ‘unAfrican’ – in fact it was stigma and discrimination that was the foreign import thanks to penal laws brought in from colonialism.
- Provides convincing positive counter-narrative, that enables people to still feel that this new position of open-mindedness aligns with their values. For example, when people in research spoke about reconciling with a friend, family member etc who is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or a sex worker they spoke about some of the following values that guided their actions:
- A belief that unconditional love for a child being more important.
- A belief that we do not have the right to judge others (often a value stemming from their religious upbringing).
- Putting the bible’s focus on love and inclusion first (this came through in stories from church leaders who had welcomed people back into the fold).
Talking about these values partly helps people reconcile their new open-mindedness with their existing beliefs and also helps them justify their position to others.
In 3 of the 4 countries the dramas criminalize against one or more of the groups we are working with and we need to be sensitive to that. It is important that the drama does not attempt to engage in legal change. Our focus is on reducing stigma and discrimination because we know it is a barrier to accessing vital HIV prevention and treatment services.
- We need to cover stories that affect gay men, lesbian women, transgender people and sex workers across the 13 episodes. This means there should be a minimum of 4 main storylines per drama.
- We will have a drama in each of the four countries. We must cast voices indigenous to the country it will be aired in (with a focus on people who can portray people from lower socio-economic backgrounds). Please note, in South Africa the drama needs to be relevant for people listening in Swaziland and Lesotho.
- We want a variety of acceptors (e.g. parents, grandparents, friend, person in wider community, co-worker, traditional leader/religious leader, doctor or nurse).
- The budget is no more than R3 000 000,00.
- Due to the sensitive nature of this content, please may we ask that you sign an NDA, for us to keep on record.
Your submission should include the following:
- Technical submission (max 15 pages)
- Creative Concept for the Radio Drama and how it will work across 4 different countries
- Why your organization is well-equipped to create and produce these radio dramas (i.e. organization’s credentials and past performance)
- How you will ensure authenticity (i.e. stories feel believable)
- Please provide timelines for this project, from concept development, to screenwriting, to pre-production, production and post-production. The end live date needs to be 1 June 2018.
- Financial Submission
- Budget that includes all costs from creative development and scriptwriting to production and getting the radio dramas ready to be live on air in June.
The deadline for submission is: 16 February 2018 by 18:00 GMT.
All proposals must be submitted electronically to WSprocurement@mcsaatchi.com. Technical and financial proposals should be submitted separately (as two separate documents in one email), labelled as follows:
Please note that proposals received after the deadline and submissions where the technical and financial proposals have not been submitted as separate documents will not be considered.