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The impact of an entertainment education TV series, ‘C’est la vie!’ on Gender-based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health
Last registered on December 02, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
The impact of an entertainment education TV series, ‘C’est la vie!’ on Gender-based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health
Initial registration date
December 01, 2019
Last updated
December 02, 2019 2:54 PM EST

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Primary Investigator
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - Dakar
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Mass media campaigns can be an effective way of producing positive health-related behavior change across large populations Mass media campaigns allow for the integration of standardized repeated messages in an entertaining format, invoking cognitive or emotional responses. Educational mass-media to promote positive behavior change on radio, film, or television is also known as edutainment. Edutainment has been associated with improved knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS, fertility, and family planning in Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania, Brazil, Nigeria, and India. However, to date there have been few rigorous studies on the effectiveness of edutainment to improve women’s outcomes with respect to gender-based violence (GBV) or intimate partner violence (IPV).

This evaluation contributes to the sparse literature by evaluating the impact of a popular TV series in West Africa, C’est la vie!, on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to GBV, including IPV, and sexual and reproductive health. The study will be conducted in rural Senegal, where populations have low exposure to the series and new dubbing into local languages provides a unique opportunity to experimentally test the effectiveness of C’est la vie!. The target group for the intervention are women aged 14 to 34 years old. The evaluation will employ a cluster-randomized controlled trial (cRCT) design by randomly assigning rural villages to three arms: 1) C’est la vie! screenings via film clubs, 2) same as arm 1 with the addition of post-discussion groups and interactive workshops reinforcing messages, and 3) a placebo film screened identically to arm 1 with no related themes to outcomes of the study. A cross cutting treatment will encourage the partners of target to attend the screenings in half of each study arm. In addition to the RCT, a process evaluation will accompany the evaluation to unpack impact pathways and explore participants experience with the film clubs. The treatment screenings will include season 1 of C’est la vie!, or approximately 26 episodes, which will be screened in groups of three (1.5 hours total or 25 min each) on a bi-monthly basis. In addition to an endline survey, a post-intervention survey is expect to explore if initial program effects persist or dissipate over time.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Hidrobo, Melissa , Agnes Le Port and Amber Peterman. 2019. "The impact of an entertainment education TV series, ‘C’est la vie!’ on Gender-based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health." AEA RCT Registry. December 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5134-1.0.
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Experimental Details
The TV series C’est la vie! is now in it’s third season of production and is specifically designed to address issues related to adolescents’ and women’s rights. The plot revolves around everyday life in a maternal health clinic in Senegal and characters are based on extensive formative research. Themes presented in the series focus on GBV (IPV, forced and early marriage, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, illegal abortion), on sexual and reproductive health (family planning, use of contraceptives, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, right to information), on maternal and child health (prenatal and postnatal care, quality of health care, traditional medicine), and more generally on gender equality, couple communication, and female autonomy. C’est la Vie! is developed and produced by the Réseau African pour l’Education à la Santé (RAES), a Senegalese non-governmental organization with support from UN partners.

The intervention being evaluated is Season 1 of the TV series, C’est la vie!, screened through regular film clubs in each village. Season 1 of C’est la vie! is composed of 26 episodes (25 minutes for each episode). Each village screening will show three episodes in a row. Viewings will be every other week in each village over approximately five months. C’est la vie! season 1 has been translated to Wolof and Pular prior to the start of the intervention.

In addition to the TV series, study arm 2 will include “Pedagogical kits,” which have been developed by the RAES social behavior change communication (SBCC) team, in collaboration with United Nations Agencies. The objective of the pedagogical kits is to strengthen the impacts of the TV series by stimulating personal reflections and collective debates on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, and GBV. The kits are composed of post-projection discussion guides that accompany each episode and workshop guides that are composed of seven themes.

Implementation will be carried out by MobiCiné, through mobile units that visit each village on a rotating basis. Mobile units are cars carrying projectors and screens. Each mobile unit staff includes a screening technician and a communication specialist for monitoring attendance and leading the SBCC component (Pedagogical kit including the post-screening discussions and workshops). Implementation of the film clubs was tested via a pilot study which was approved by the Senegalese ethics committee, Comité National d’Éthique pour la Recherche en Santé (CNERS), in March 2019, and carried out over a two week period in six villages over the month of April 2019. The pilot study was implemented with the objective of determining implementation feasibility, optimization and test intervention components prior to development of the present impact evaluation.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
• Knowledge: Regarding sexual and reproductive health (including HIV/STIs), gender-based violence (including female genital cutting/mutilation – FGM/C), family planning, maternal and child health;
• Attitudes and personal norms: Around sexual and reproductive health (including family planning), gender-based violence (including FGM/C, early marriage and IPV), and gender norms;
• Practices and behaviors: Regarding sexual and reproductive health (including HIV/STI testing and proxy indicators), gender-based violence (including IPV and emotional, physical and sexual violence from other individuals), family planning utilization, maternal and child health service utilization.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Moderators and facilitating factors, including intra-household decision-making power and self-efficacy, time allocation, communication, labor force participation, social cohesion/capital, emotional wellbeing, aspirations and community social norms.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In total, 120 rural villages across two regions of Senegal – Kaolack and Kolda – are randomly assigned to one of three arms:
• Arm 1: C'est la vie! season 1 screened through film clubs
• Arm 2: Same as Arm 1 + plus “pedagogical kits”;
• Arm 3: a TV series "placebo" (on a subject not related to GBV or gender issues) screened through film clubs (control group).

In each intervention arm, 34 young adult women aged 14-34 per village, living up to 2 km radius to the film club location (village primary school) will be invited to attend the sessions. Each woman will be allowed to bring one guest. Randomization is stratified on region, and at the village level as opposed to the household level because it is likely that individuals will discuss the TV series C’est la vie! with other community members; thus, even individuals who are not directly invited to the film clubs may be exposed to the messages, and they cannot be considered ‘untreated’. The second stage of randomization will assign women to use their guest pass on either: 1) their spouse, partner, boyfriend/male peer, or brother or 2) a female friend, sister or neighbor. The second stage randomization will be at the individual level across all three treatment arms and take the form of a soft nudge (suggestion) at the time of invite, as there will be no strict monitoring or consequence if the women does not bring the type of person suggested.

Prior to the first screening and baseline survey, a census was conducted in 160 villages to identify 34 eligible women to participate in the study. Of the villages with at least 34 eligible females, 120 were randomly selected to participate in the study and randomized into one of the three treatment arms. Women are eligible if they 1) meet the age criteria, 2) speak and understand wolof or pular, 3) live within a 2km radius of a primary school.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
In office, by a computer.
Randomization Unit
First level (treatment arm): Villages
Second level (sex of second invitee): Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
4,080 women (1,360 per study arm)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Equal numbers of clusters (40) per treatment arm, stratified on region (20 per region per arm).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations for this study drew on data from the 2017 Senegalese Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). We conducted power calculations on three primary outcomes related to behaviors and attitudes of IPV and sexual and reproductive health among women – modern contraceptive use, attitudes justifying IPV and 12-month experience of IPV. Desired statistical power was set to 80 percent, and desired significance level was set to 0.05. Means and intra-cluster correlations were estimated from the 2017 DHS, using the rural population and accounting for survey weights. We allow for 0.10 correlation with baseline characteristics. The desired minimum detectable impacts were set to 6 percentage points for contraceptive use and IPV, and 10 percentage points for attitudes. Given the low prevalence of IPV in the last 12 months and modern contraceptive use, 6 percentage points are large effect sizes, however, these are in the range found by studies examining impacts of social behavior change communication and mass media on both outcomes. For contraceptive use and attitudes towards IPV we need a minimum of 28 women per village by endline. For IPV, we are not powered to detect impacts across each intervention arm, but we are powered to detect impacts if we combine intervention arm 1 and arm 2. The needed sample for IPV when arm 1 and arm 2 are combined is 23 married (partnered) women per village at endline. Assuming 5 percent attrition by endline, this means a sample of 24 married (partnered) women per village at baseline. If we assume approximately 70 percent of women 14-34 years are partnered, then this would mean we need a sample of approximately 34 women per village at baseline – 24 of which will likely be partnered and 10 without a partner. The total sample of women is thus 4,080 across the 120 villages. We note that due to geographical variation and differences in recall periods, among others, power calculations are not able to provide exact predictions of statistical power. However, given a sample design, they can provide useful guidance in designing the sample.
IRB Name
Comite National d’Ethique pour la Recherche en Sante (Sengalese national ethics committee on health research)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
International Food Policy Research Institute IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
PHND-19-0739 (IRB #00007490)