A mother carrying her toddler in Burkina Faso

Location Early childhood development

SUNRISE: Early Childhood Development Randomised Controlled Trial


We are preparing to conduct the first ever cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) on the effects of mass media on early childhood development (ECD). It is called SUNRISE: Scaling Up Nurturing care, a Radio Intervention to Stimulate Early child development.


Burkina Faso


Early childhood development – responsive care-giving, play, child-directed language and praise.


60 x 1-minute radio spots and interactive phone-in programmes, all in five languages.


This RCT study will run from January 2020 to December 2025. Our radio campaign will broadcast for 36 months on radio stations in Burkina Faso, starting in October 2021.

Our Approach

A map of radio reach in Burkina Faso indicating the areas DMI's campaigns reach


The Study Design

For our SUNRISE RCT, we will work with a group of local radio stations, half of which will broadcast the campaign and half of which will act as controls.

We will collect quantitative data on children’s cognitive, language, and motor skills, as well as responsive parenting practices and the child’s immediate home environment.

We will also conduct surveys that measure coverage of our campaign, message recall and knowledge, attitudes and practice in relation to early childhood development (ECD).


Using drama to promote cognitive development

We will conduct formative research that investigates barriers and facilitators to behaviour change relating to early childhood development. We will use this to produce radio spots and 1-hour interactive call-in radio shows that address these barriers and promote cognitive development and positive parenting. We will test our spots with families within our target communities to assess their reaction and understanding.

A young child drawing representing DMI's focus on ECD for this project
A radio on a wall as an example of DMI's use of radio


Intensive broadcasting

We will broadcast our 1-minute radio spots 10 times per day, every day, all in five languages.

We will also work with our radio station partners to create and broadcast interactive phone-in shows. This format will present listeners with stories they can relate to and will invite them to discuss the key behaviours presented, allowing the community to engage with the content collectively and in depth.

Partners & Funders

The RCT study is conducted in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). We are grateful to the funders of this ambitious RCT: Wellcome and the Light Foundation.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine logo Innovations for Poverty Action logo The Light Foundation logo