Tackling the Population Challenge, One Story at a Time!

Media Impact's approach to population issues
Jul 12, 2012 5:30 PM ET

(3BL Media) July 12, 2012 - Yesterday, on World Population Day, the international community drew attention to the deep implications of population growth – not only on natural resources, but on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and economic opportunities.  These far-reaching consequences have been a central focus of Media Impact’s work. In fact, when the organization (formerly Population Communications International) was founded in 1985, its programs dealt exclusively with population issues, promoting the adoption of family planning practices through Entertainment-Education (E-E) programming. Focusing on regions where birthrates have historically been the highest, Media Impact has worked for many years promoting family planning, empowering women to limit their births per their choice, and communicating the consequences of continued population growth.

The world, however, is complex and issues linked to the “population challenge” do not exist in isolation. In other words, there are linkages and interconnections that profoundly impact the determinants of family size. To address these multi-faceted challenges, Media Impact’s programs have tackled issues such as conservation, climate change, and community economic development – all of which are intrinsically connected to and affected by population pressures. It is well-documented, for example, that strengthening the role of women in society leads to decreased population growth and that women’s access to education and status must improve so that they can have a voice in reproductive health discussions in male-dominated societies. Furthermore, the majority of Media Impact’s youth programs address sexual health, encouraging safe sex practices and delaying the age of first pregnancy. The organization’s E-E series for youth and women’s empowerment, HIV and AIDS, and sustainable development continue to shift knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding family planning and size. 

Stemming from the success of these programs, Media Impact has become increasingly involved in generating long-term solutions to the issue of population growth by empowering local NGOs, health service providers and community leaders to use communications to inspire change and shift social norms in their communities. So on this auspicious occasion, Media Impact would like to recognize your invaluable support, without which its important work would not be possible.