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CMS Communication has made remarkable contribution in development communication in the country. The team experiments with methodologies in developing communication strategies, as well as monitoring of interventions’ progress and evaluating their impact towards enhancing behaviour & social change.

The team provides objective research support to development communication initiatives. Special interest of this team continue to be meaningful entertainment education for children and adults on issues like health, education, hygiene, rights, survival, and other development issues.


CMS Communication team has been playing a critical role of being the Research Support for communication programmes. Starting from formative research for identifying the issue, baseline study for benchmarking the knowledge attitude and practices on the indicators around the issue; monitoring the progress through periodic evaluation of the campaign to measuring its impact on the benchmark indicators through end line evaluations.

Using innovative qualitative and quantitative research methodologies the CMS Communication team has been successfully documenting the impact of development communication endeavours specifically the Entertainment-education (EE) in India. The critical observations made by the CMS Communication team have helped the Partners make necessary changes in their strategy, design, funding, format which has shown positive results and outcomes.


CMS Communication Team has conducted large scale studies on Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for Alive & Thrive, FHI. The studies have mapped the prevailing Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding practices in the states to identify the gaps and opportunities to improve nutrition intake. The next step was to involve lactating mothers, under the guidance of nutrition experts, to create nutritionally appropriate food combinations using food items which are affordable, available and acceptable. The created recipes and the recommended breast feeding, diet diversity, quantity and quality of food to be given and hygienic practices were introduced, tested and evaluated among the selected mothers and pregnant women through the Trials of Improved practices (TIPs). TIPs involved pre trial counselling and pre trial 24-hour dietary recall exercise; a trial period of 14 days; and a post trail evaluation along with post trial 24-hour dietary recall exercise. The study helped in identifying the content and the channels through which mothers can be reached out for communicating with them.


The team had successfully executed the concurrent monitoring of Menstruation Hygiene Management Project of UNICEF in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. The concurrent monitoring provided evidence to improve the implementation and prove the efficacy of the MHM project. The concurrent monitoring utilized a mixed methods approach, including quantitative data while also harnessing the power of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The application of CBPR principles including visual, narrative, and numeric data ensured that this project attempted to the voices of participants in the design, implementation, and analysis of research. Both structured questions and participatory research were embedded within FGDs, structured interviews, exit interviews and observations to create data collection processes interactive, engaging, and empowering. Another unique feature of this study was the combination of paper and TABs for data collection. Qualitative activities, open-ended questions, and the 'other/specify' category responses were collected on paper. The TABS and paper transfer was aptly designed for ease of administration.


The Team has undertaken the first ever benchmarking of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Global Communication & Public Advocacy Strategy for UNICEF India. The strategic objective included a set of specific KPIs, targets and baseline to track and measure the impact of communication and public advocacy as envisaged in the strategy over the four-year period of planning and implementation (2014-2017). The study encompassed both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to analyze and benchmark the achievements.

The team assessed the impact of a mobile game '9 Minutes' and a supporting video module on safe pregnancy and care produced by Half the Sky Movement Multimedia Communication Initiative (HTS) for FHI360. The pre/post surveys aimed to assess the magnitude of change before and after exposure to the 9 Minutes media products and between audiences. The post-tests also explored participants' perceptions of the products' acceptability. The FGDs allowed for further exploration of the meaning and understanding of issues raised through the products and allow for greater inclusion of audience perspectives. All participants were exposed to the 9 Minutes intervention in the context of the evaluation as distribution of the products had not yet begun for evaluation in a "real world" or program context. The participants included currently married women of reproductive age (aged 18-44 years old), women who intended to become pregnant within the next year and husbands of women of reproductive age, including husbands of pregnant women and husbands of women who intend to become pregnant within the next year.(http://

In another project, for FHI 360, Communication team conducted a study to see whether by exposing married women and men to a set of six videos dealing with family planning, self help groups, sex trafficking, girls education (family values), sex education and financial savings and participating in the post-video discussions results in positive measurable shifts in gender attitudes as measured by a series of gender attitude scales and impacts the audience in terms of their attitudes, knowledge, perceptions, and intentions to act. These two studies helped the team of HTS to plan their dissemination plan in India.

CMS conducted the first ever study 'Communication Opportunities among Select SC/ST communities in India' among 18 Scheduled Caste. This was to understand the indigenous or local communication systems and practices, communication opportunities and resources available, process of information the most credible spokespersons in diverse socio-cultural-ethnic Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The study was conducted among 9 Scheduled Castes and 9 Scheduled tribes from Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The qualitative study brought out interesting facts, cleared myths around their livelihood, art forms, culture, practices and helped identify communication channels and methods. The knowledge generated from this study is expected to strengthen the equity focus of key social and behaviour change strategies developed by the UNICEF, government and other bilateral organizations as per their relevance to various issues being communicated by the C4D program.

For the UNICEF initiative Kyunki Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai…, CMS Communication was involved in providing audience feedback as inputs towards improving dialogue, cast and script. The strategy to introduce an interactive format of reading out selected audience letters on the show was also based on CMS inputs. This critical decision recognised the involvement of audience and drastically increased the fan mail.

CMS Communication conducted Rapid Audience Assessments of the Bell Bajao Campaign on Domestic Violence. Based on these assessments, CMS Communication suggested to Breakthrough a more interactive and strategic use of funds to have larger impact through Video vans.


CMS Communication team has signed a long term association (LTA) contract with UNICEF India and has been assigned to take up Pre-testing of development communication material in its concept stage, rough cut or scrap stage among the target audience. The appeal, comprehension, relevance and do-ability of the materials are tested before the target audience. Based on this feedback, relevant changes are made in the materials before final production. Pre-testing of materials is not only limited to public service messaging or spots but also involves pre- testing of story boards, episodes of serials and radio programmes meant for children.

This LTA contract has given CMS Communication an opportunity to work extensively on Govt. of India Campaigns on Age of marriage, Salt iodisation, Safe water, HINI, Polio Ravivaar, Hand washing with soap and Men using toilet, etc.

A special chapter on NCDs has been developed for the UNICEF Facts for Life (FFL) publication as an effort to scale up proven health promotion and primary prevention approaches initiatives for NCDs. CMS Communication conducted the pretest of this new NCD chapter to obtain feedback from key users of the Facts for Life i.e the persons responsible for communicating and disseminating the information in FFL to children, adolescents and their families.

The team tested two unique communication materials developed on Menstruation Hygiene in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand for their appropriateness. The two communication materials were animatics of an infotainment film - Paheli ki Saheli and storybook style flipbook for pre-menarche girls.

The team had pretested five FFL IPC videos on Child Protection issues dealing with Child Protection Committee, Child Marriage, Child labour, unsafe migration and value of child hood. The episodes were pretested in two districts namely Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and Wardha in Maharashtra.

The team conducted pre test of six different episodes of 'Meena Ki Duniya' among parents and FLFs to understand their responses and reactions to such a product. This was conducted in Uttar Pradesh.

The team pretested TV and Radio Spots endorsed by Vidya Balan on construction and usage of toilets by using the concept of embarrassments, pride, and also health risks of open defecation. The study informed the Ministry that the spots do talk about the construction but has no messaging on usage in particular and suggested using the taglines like: "Yadi rehna hai nirog, to shouchalay ke karo prayog-Jahan Soch Wahan Shouchalaya" which emerged from the field test. The team tested spots on 'Safe water handling' in Rajasthan and 'Contaminated Water' in Unnao districts of Uttar Pradesh for their appropriateness before production.

The team also supported the pretest of Mobisodes on 13 FFL Themes of UNICEF an adaptation of the video series of the 'Ammaji Kehti Hai' among the frontline workers and SHG women in Haryana Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. This innovative product was to ensure that the facilitators, frontline health workers (ASHAs) and other SHG women have the videos with life saving information handy on their mobile phone for easy viewing, easy access to information, and initiate discussion with community without having to worry about logistics of arranging a TV and DVD player. Apart from giving detailed feedback on the mobisodes, the study brought out users opinion about the duration of episodes, the significance of having HIV and other sensitive issues on a mobile which ensures private viewing, and their comfort level with the mobile technology.


As a part of regular research and analysis, CMS Communication Team is privileged to work with the children and interacting with them in order to make the programmes made for them participatory, more impactful and engaging.

In Concurrent Monitoring of Menstrual Health Management (MHM) Programme of UNICEF, CMS researchers interacted with the adolescent girls from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Using Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) including visual, narrative, and activities CMS researchers collected data through interactive, engaging, and empowering way. Data was collected on knowledge, taboos and restrictions, social support, social norms nutrition and gender issues.

In order to understand the potential of Meena (the cartoon series developed by UNICEF), vis-a-vis other popular animated characters in the context of merchandising products the Team visited 8 metropolitan and Class-I cities. Girls and boys of 4-6 and 7-9 years who are regular viewers of 'cartoon channels' and are regular consumers of licensed products were shown the Audio Video CDs of Meena Animated Series. The study looked into the understanding, appeal of Meena as an entertaining character and the resonance of the story / setting of the show amongst urban children. The study also tried to understand their likelihood of buying Meena Merchandise if they are available in the market.

CMS also engaged children in the study named 'Communication Opportunities among Select SC/ST communities in India', where they participated to talk about the availability and accessibility to media channels and assets and also shared their aspiration and preference about mass media channels.

CMS Communication conducted impact evaluation of Gali Gali Sim Sim, the India version of Sesame Street of the US. It was a first of its kind study where children in the age group of 6-8 year were interacted to collect their perception about the characters, components, and format of the programme. To understand the impact of such programme on children below the age six of the parents of the kids were interviewed. The suggestion that evolved from the survey helped the Partners to change the timing of the show to reach out to more children of that age.

UNICEF developed an innovative and engaging radio programme to communicate with children in rural schools, their educators, parents and community leaders. The EE programme of 15 minutes 'Meena Ki Duniya' aimed to enhance knowledge and learning among children addresses cross-cutting issues like gender equity and rights of the girl child. CMS Communication was involved in interacting with children since its conception. The observations made by the children on the programme during its pre-testing were interesting and the production agency applied them while developing the future episodes. Rounds of effectiveness study was conducted by CMS to gauge the influence of the programme on children and the situation of logistics where the team interacted with 4500 students of rural Upper Primary and KGBV schools from 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

While supporting the UNICEF Office and Directorate of Education of Andhra Pradesh, the team provided pre test support and gave constructive feedback for the language version of Meena Ki Duniya. The effectiveness of the program 'Meena Prapancham' was also researched among 1344 students of 112 Upper Primary Schools and Higher Secondary Schools in 8 districts of AP.


CMS Communication team reviewed communication strategies and materials of major vector borne diseases of India, HIV/AIDS and other developmental issues and suggested Communication strategies for better reach and impact, making optimal use of the available resources. Analysis of content and formats of different programmes done by CMS has helped the Partners in restructuring their programme format for making it popular, entertaining and educative. The findings from "Content Analysis of episodes of Kyunki Jeena Isi ka Naam Hai…the EE Soap" have guided the episode scriptwriters to maintain the balance of EE in the serial, to understand what works with the audience and what impacts the audience most.


Going beyond the conventional method of quantitatively analysing news, CMS Communication team offered customised services to government and bilateral agencies. Through qualitative analysis of print & television news, CMS Communication team has tracked portrayal of development issues, their coverage patterns, formats and innovations. The analysis has helped the government and other agencies to design their media advocacy initiatives.

Content analysis of episodes of television and radio programmes, EE serials, news and materials is one of the team's expertises. The Communication team has developed unique methodologies and successfully used them for comprehensive analysis of content. The team has language experts who are experienced in conducting content analysis.

RS10 Project is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to increase road safety in ten target countries. In India, among other activities, the project included a series of workshops with journalists to provide them with tools and resources to cover traffic from Hyderabad, Jalandhar and New Delhi. With an objective to provide inputs for road safety workshops with journalists, CMS Communication carried out content analysis of reporting on road safety in 15 dailies from these cities. The Team also conducted an end line to measure the impact of these workshops in the coverage. The analysis looked into both quantitative and qualitative aspects of coverage. A Pre and Post analysis of newspaper reportage on Road Safety Legislation in India was also conducted by the Team for WHO Express Workshop which was meant to support journalists to initiate a more proactive approach of reporting on the delay in passing the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2007 by the Parliament.

Another pioneering work of the Communication Team was documenting 'Media Response to HIV in Six countries of Asia' including Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam; conducted on behalf of Commission on AIDS.

CMS's analysis of 'How HIV gets maximum coverage in news' helped UNICEF design their 360° Media Advocacy Campaign in four states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal on Maternal Mortality Reduction issues.


CMS Communication team members have been regularly providing inputs and feedback to several communication and media related policy issues to the various ministries and international bodies.

  • The Team reviewed the Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) in South & South East Asian Countries and their compliance to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The first of its kind study in striving to identify the FCTC compliance of TAPS regulations in South & South East Asia and the challenges and opportunities thereof was conducted by CMS for Health Bridge. The study covered 10 countries from South & South East Asia-Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • CMS also wrote an analytical paper for the Standing Committee of Copyright and Related Rights, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Geneva on 'Socio Economic dimensions of the Unauthorised Use of Signals'
  • CMS was represented in the Committee created by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for drafting the Guidelines for Self Regulation in Broadcasting Sector and the Content Certification Rules.
  • CMS also organises international level debates and brings out publication on regulatory issues in Indian Media.

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