Zambia Communication Profile




Case Study

Research Briefs

Featured Charts


(NEW) Communicating with Policymakers in Zambia- A Guide for the International Community
InterMedia conducted in-depth interviews with 17 senior policy actors and policy implementers in Zambia to better understand how they gather, assess, share and disseminate policy-relevant information. In particular, this study focused on how the global development community can best support the policy process from an informational point of view. The interviewees highlighted challenges they face in accessing and using policy-related information, and concrete suggestions of how the development community can help them overcome these challenges.

(NEW) Mass Media in Zambia- Demand-Side Measures of Access, Use and Reach
This report  assists development professionals in crafting their communications strategies through mass media conduits. Zambia's mass media environment is limited by the country's modest level of economic development and its lack of private sector infrastructure. Radio is the most dominant and widespread medium in Zambia, while television and newspapers do not yet have a large national reach, and it is not clear when or if they will. This report focuses  on  the common determinants of access and use, as well as identifies key opinion leaders and media non-users. Audience and programming profiles of specific media outlets by province are also presented.

  Health Information Gaps in Zambia – Evidence from the AudienceScapes National Survey
The report focuses on how people of different social groups in Zambia gather, share and assess information on key health issues. It showcases how the AudienceScapes survey data can be used by the development community to better target communications and information-sharing efforts. Specifically, the report helps development organizations to identify gaps in access to health information for Zambian adults and efficient conduits to share such information with key demographic groups.

Case Studies

Targeting Men Under 30 in Urban Zambia With Information About HIV/AIDS

Although there are many at-risk groups for HIV/AIDS, one program might focus on communicating with young urban men. We delve into the AudienceScapes data to define the target audience (men between the ages of 15 to 29 living in urban areas) and identify how to deliver targeted health messages to them. Read more.....

Research Briefs

The Research Briefs are efficient short-form documents highlighting some of the important findings from our  Zambia 2010 survey and policy research. Each brief seeks to answer some of the development community's more probing questions within the realm of media, communications and development. You can download each research brief in pdf form.

 State Run ZNBC Dominates Radio Listening: What Does This Mean for Information Access in Zambia?
The scope of Zambia's media environment and consequent access to information is limited by the country's modest level of economic development and the lack of infrastructure to service non-state media outlets. Radio is the most accessible and popular medium. But most Zambians only have access to state-run Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZNBC) radio stations. Continue reading........

 Barriers to Traditional Media (Radio, Television and Newspaper) Access and Use
When crafting a development communication program, it is useful to know the profile of those least likely to be reached - that is, those with little access to media and other information sources - in order to understand the potential barriers communicators may face. Using the results of the 2010 AudienceScapes survey of Zambia, this research brief profiles the hardest-to-reach in that country, who are characterized by their lack of access to "traditional" media (radio, television and print). Continue reading........

 SMS For News and Information in Zambia - Who Gets It, and Who Shares What They Get
Spreading important development-oriented information via SMS has become an increasingly popular dissemination tactic for domestic and international development organizations. This method has been adopted by numerous health and agricultural education initiatives. AudienceScapes Research Analyst David Montez explores the main factors determining whether an individual regularly uses SMS as a news source in Zambia or whether they share what they get.

Featured Charts

Radio and Mobile Phones Stand Out as Important Communication Mediums
Income variation presents some of the most informative variations in the use of traditional mediums in Zambia. For the poorest tiers of Zambian society, radio is the most important (and sometimes only) media source of information. As mobile penetration increases and more complex mobile activities are accept mobile communication has great potential to become not only a means of communicating between individuals but also an important source for news and information.

Zambia’s Rural Poor: Does Word-of-Mouth Trump Radio as the Best Way to Reach Them?

Radio MAY NOT be the most effective means of supplying development information to the rural poor. Especially, for poor farmers in Zambia, it was speaking with family and friends that was the most often cited way poor rural farmers received information. Other key sources of information like farming organizations and cooperatives, along with other farmers themselves, are associated with established word-of-mouth networks made up of individuals who all have similar problems and concerns.

Alternative Electricity Sources Help Power Radios in Low Access Provinces
The source of energy used to power radio units varies greatly depending on the level of economic development within the province.In provinces with low access to radio ("low access provinces"), solar power and car batteries (in addition to the main power grid) are very important sources of energy to power radio units. On the other hand, provinces with high access to radio  ("high access provinces") have consistent access to the main power grid, and therefore rely on it as the single method to power radios. For development workers serving less developed provinces in Zambia, solar power and car battery powered radio units are opportunities for reaching key constituents.

How Do Familial and Community Connections Help Expand Mobile Phone Use in Zambia?
Mobile phone sharing has been a crucial means of expanding access beyond personal ownership for those of lower income status.
Thirty-six percent of all respondents who have ever used a mobile phone in the past said they are dependent upon borrowing a mobile phone for access. Another means of clearing the sometimes costly hurdle of purchasing a mobile phone is purchasing a SIM card to use on others' phones. This has allowed individuals to become a formal phone subscriber with their own phone number and history, while needing to borrow a phone in order to use it.