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PVI’s approach to impact measurement is to connect the areas of academic study, creative media and the activities of mission driven nonprofits in the fields of health, livelihoods and citizenship. Over the years, our partnerships have generated a range of published articles, book chapters, and reports. Our team have presented at fora including top universities, UN agencies and at conferences around the world. Below you will find a sample of our research output.

Entertainment-Education Behind the Scenes: Case Studies for Theory and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan)

This edited volume collects essays from many of the leading figures in the EE field. As an Open Access book, it is available as a free download anywhere in the world.

Contributing authors:
Amy Henderson Riley, Anna Colquhoun, Arvind Singhal, Carlos Chirinos-Espin, Caty Borum Chattoo, Charlotte Lapansky, Donald Green, Drew Bernard, Erika Lynn Rosenthal, Gosia Lukomska, Helen Hua Wang, Jessica Wendorf Muhamad, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Joseph Cappella, Joyee Chatterjee, Kate Folb, Lauren Frank, LeeAnn Sangalang, Marisa Jahn, Martine Bouman, Melanie Green, Michael Cody, Miguel Sabido, Muk Yin Haung Nyoi, Negussie Teffera, Paul Falzone, Radharani Mitra, Ragini Pasricha, Rafael Obregon, Sally Gowland, Sarah Francis, Sebastián Cole, Sheila Murphy, Sonia Whitehead, Suruchi Sood, Van Sui Thawng, William Ryerson, & Yotam Ophir

Click here to read for free!

Frank, L. and Falzone, P. (eds) (2021). Entertainment education behind the scenes: Case studies for theory and practice. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.


Last Mile Media: A How-To Guide (Palgrave Macmillan)

This chapter describes several “rules of the road” for the creation and dissemination of last mile media campaigns. It explains core concepts and provides key strategies for both experienced professionals and those new to entertainment-education (EE). It highlights the importance of research, designing backward from distribution plans, the value of entertainment, and how to leverage commercial competition for scaling EE campaigns. The authors also draw from and briefly describe a variety of colorful case studies from their work, including creating Africa’s first TV science show, hacking a telenovela, using hip hop to deliver the news, and the creation of a solar-powered, motorcycle-mounted microcinema. By combining practical core principles of ethnographic field research with a creative media approach to campaign design, this engaging chapter is intended for both students and practitioners interested in how to reach marginalized communities in some of the most remote regions in the world with life-changing entertainment-education.

Falzone, P. and Lukomska, G. Last mile media: a how-to guide. In Falzone, P. and Frank, L. (eds) (2021). Entertainment education behind the scenes: Case studies for research and practice. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.


The Game of Life: How Playing Gamified Interactive Narratives Affects Career Planning in Cambodia (International Journal of Communication)

Abstract: To improve economic opportunity in Cambodia, we used social cognitive theory to develop gamified, interactive narratives using mobile phones. Participants guided their chosen character toward their “dream job” goal while encountering a series of barriers along the way. Participants (N = 1,625) were randomly assigned to one of four message frequency experimental conditions: a no-play control condition or playing the interactive narrative one, two, or five times. Compared with not playing the interactive narrative (control), those who played showed higher perceived self-efficacy, response efficacy, and behavioral intentions. Playing more times was associated with less attentional focus and enjoyment, but greater narrative understanding and behavioral intentions. These results support the promise of interactive technology using basic mobile phones for social and behavioral change. Moreover, this study addresses the important question of how much exposure to an intervention is necessary to affect change.

Frank, L., Sparks, P., Murphy, S., Goodfriend, L., & Falzone, P. (2021). The game of life: How playing gamified interactive narratives affects career planning in Cambodia. International Journal Of Communication, Vol. 15


From the Studio to the Street: Cultivating Democratic Norms in Uganda (International Journal of Communication)

Communication interventions can make valuable contributions to the democratic development of citizens. This article reports on a nongovernmental organization’s (NGO’s) effort to leverage a television rap news program in Uganda to strengthen viewers’ democratic norms. Two different approaches addressing government failures and malfeasance are tested with an experiment conducted in six villages outside of Kampala. Results indicate that soft news segments can influence viewers’ perceived democratic norms and shape downstream behaviors as well. Beneficial effects were strongest when participants were exposed to stories that featured relatable citizens demonstrating desirable democratic attitudes and behaviors. Treatment effects were most pronounced among less politically sophisticated participants. Results suggest that media interventions are most likely to change perceived norms when they employ messages that depict individuals modeling the desired norms. Second, results show that entertainment news can be a genre used for communication interventions that employ theoretically grounded messages. These lessons are likely both transferable to interventions in other contexts.

Shaker, L., Falzone, P., Sparks, P, and Kugumikiriza, R. (2019). From the studio to the street: Cultivating democratic norms in Uganda. International Journal Of Communication Vol. 13


Follow the Beat: The Use of Digital Media for Youth-Oriented News in Uganda

This article is an ethnographic account of the production of a weekly television program that uses a hip-hop format to deliver the news to youth audiences in Uganda. It demonstrates the manner in which a revolution in digital technologies has democratized production, allowing unconventional mediamakers to communicate with new audiences through innovative formats. It also suggests that the darkside of digital democratization is a deepening digital divide, particularly in developing nations, where there are severe disparities in access to the mediums of reception. This includes not only hardware and software, but electricity itself. Lastly, it explores the manner in which edutainment programming can use informal media and ambient screens to create parallel broadcast networks, sidestepping censorship while also reaching broader audiences though last mile media.

Falzone, P. Follow the beat: The use of digital media for youth-oriented news in Uganda. In Messaris, P. & Humphreys, L. (2017). Digital media: transformations in human communication 2nd ed. New York: Peter Lang.


Priming, Rap News and Public Diplomacy: Reporting on an NGO-Led Media Initiative in Uganda. (International Journal of Communication)

Mediated public diplomacy campaigns are proliferating around the world. Governments are joined by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), terrorists, and others that seek to effect change on the international stage by speaking directly to global populations. As these initiatives spread, they also use new and creative communication tactics. This study contributes to the evolving public diplomacy literature in two key ways. First, it explores the design and effects of an NGO-led intervention that employs a novel message format—rap news—in Uganda. Second, it reports on the integration of priming theory and entertainment-education strategies into this intervention and its evaluation. Experimental results indicate that priming via rap news can be effective—but that the precise results are difficult to control.

Shaker, L., & Falzone, P. (2015). Priming, rap news and public diplomacy: Reporting on an NGO-led media initiative in Uganda. International Journal Of Communication Vol. 9


Partner Publications

PVI has been privileged to contribute to the work of outside scholars with media production and distribution support. These collaborations include:

Green, Donald P., et al. (2020). Countering Violence Against Women by Encouraging Disclosure: A Mass Media Experiment in Rural Uganda. Comparative Political Studies, vol. 53, no. 14, Dec. 2020, pp. 2283–2320, doi:10.1177/0010414020912275. LINK

Wilke, Anna & Green, Donald & Cooper, Jasper. (2020). A Placebo Design to Detect Spillovers From an Education–Entertainment Experiment in Uganda. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society). 183. 10.1111/rssa.12571. LINK

Cooper, Jasper, Donald P. Green, and Anna M. Wilke. (2020). Reducing Violence against Women in Uganda through Video Dramas: A Survey Experiment to Illuminate Causal Mechanisms. AEA Papers and Proceedings,110: 615-19.DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20201048 LINK

Tambo JA, Aliamo C, Davis T, Mugambi I, Romney D, Onyango DO, et al. (2019) The Impact of ICT-Enabled Extension Campaign on Farmers’ Knowledge and Management of Fall Armyworm in Uganda. PLoS ONE 14(8): e0220844. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220844 LINK


PVI staff have been invited to speak/present about PVI’s work at:

Universities, Institutions and Research Centers, including:

The Annenberg Public Policy Center
BBC Media Action
Boston University
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
mEducation Alliance Symposium
The New School
Portland State University
Rutgers University
Temple University
Queens College
Simmons College
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UNICEF Discovery Cafe
The University of Pennsylvania
The University of Washington

Conferences, including:

International Communication Association
International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit
MIT Solve
New York State Communication Association
Sankalp Forum
Science is Cool Unfestival