What is Edutainment?

Edutainment is a form of media designed to both educate and entertain. The idea behind edutainment is to engage the targeted audience through the means of entertainment in order to educate. Lessons are imbedded within the form of media meant to socialize or introduce new concepts/convey new meanings to the audience. Forms of media that might be used for edutainment include computer games, television and radio shows, documentaries/films, interactive stories, video games, etc.

What projects are out there?
a. The Telenovela: See an example of a telenovela en espanol!

  • hiv/aids, soap operas and young viewers: exploring the intersection of media effects and reception analysis and its implications for health communication*

b. Digital Mobile Applications: The initiative of serious games: From "The Serious Games Initiative is focused on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy."

c. Community Radio:
  • Promoting Awareness Through Audio Telenovelas: These soap operas have been ground-breaking in combining theories of communication with pro-health and family planning messages in Latin America. Themes of HIV prevention, teenage pregnancy, and drug/alcohol abuse have been explored. Studies have been done to determine which messages actually have an impact on audience behavior. Example: "in Kenya, the Media Trust has recently been supporting the use of radio drama/soap opera, transmitted by a local radio station, as part of a health education campaign in the Meru region."
  • In the Oshakati area of northern Namibia, local radio is part of a non-formal education project entitled "Cattle is our livelihood," to improve cattle keeping practices among local farmers": (
  • Allow for means of "portable" or "unstationary" means of educational communication: In the Apac community of northern Uganda, a portable solar or battery powered "suitcase radio station" broadcasts programmes of local and timely interest, in an initiative co-sponsored by the Government of Uganda and The Commonwealth of Learning" ( ).

d. Cultural Preservation in the form of Community Built Stories and Short Films
  • UNICEF initiative: Our Stories: promoting empowerment in educational environment through means of self-expression, and encouragement to share stories.

How can edutainment benefit the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Villages Project?
mHealth: digital mobile applications
Community Radio "Soap Operas":
Cultural Preservation in the form of Community Built Stories and Short Films

How do the Conditions of the Millennium Villages Project Affect Edutainment?
There are undeniable technological barriers that greatly limit the number of mediums through which edutainment can be implemented. In the current state of the MVPs, the tools of Community Radio and Theatre are perhaps two of the most realistic mediums through which edutainment can be accessed for local populations. A reliance on the local media, community organizers, and population is key in delivering effective edutainment.

While interactive mobile applications and interactive gaming are promising developments in the field of edutainment, the reality is that the penetration of smartphones within the MVPs is rather low.

Behavior Change Comm. | Edutainment | E-governance | Health Info. Management | Mapping | Participatory Appraisal & Planning | Radio
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