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A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Family Planning Campaigns in Less Developed Countries
Unformatted Document Text:  family planning messages is through professional staff at clinics, and that campaigns are not effective. Others argue that mediated campaigns are cost-effective (e.g. Hornik, 1988). One methodology that can be used to examine the effectiveness of communication is to meta-analyze campaign evaluations. Meta-analysis enables the calculation of the average size of the outcomes, and it can test whether the effect sizes vary by some key characteristics. By pooling effects across studies, it affords the researcher to have a more stable estimate of effect sizes. This is particularly valuable if campaign evaluations have used small sample sizes that make it difficult to achieve statistical significance (Flay and Cook, 1989). A meta-analysis of family planning outreach efforts evaluated using a true experimental design found that the experiments had an average effect of 8% on the number of new family planning adopters (Bauman, 1997). The campaigns included in the evaluation used a variety of outreach methods, including radio, TV, posters, outreach workers, and small media. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how the campaigns that used evaluations with true experimental designs, with random assignment to conditions, compare to other family planning campaigns, and therefore it is unknown whether the results can be generalized to other family planning efforts. The Bauman (1997) results are close to the average behavioral effect size (9%) for all health topics in U.S. mediated campaigns (Snyder, Hamilton, Mitchell, Kiwanuka- Tondo, Fleming Milici, and Proctor, in press). Note that the results varied by health topic – from r = .15 for seatbelt campaigns to r = .04 for mammography and sexual behavior campaigns.

Authors: Snyder, Leslie., Diop-Sidibe, Nafissatou. and Badiane, Louise.
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family planning messages is through professional staff at clinics, and that campaigns are
not effective. Others argue that mediated campaigns are cost-effective (e.g. Hornik,
1988).
One methodology that can be used to examine the effectiveness of
communication is to meta-analyze campaign evaluations. Meta-analysis enables the
calculation of the average size of the outcomes, and it can test whether the effect sizes
vary by some key characteristics. By pooling effects across studies, it affords the
researcher to have a more stable estimate of effect sizes. This is particularly valuable if
campaign evaluations have used small sample sizes that make it difficult to achieve
statistical significance (Flay and Cook, 1989).
A meta-analysis of family planning outreach efforts evaluated using a true
experimental design found that the experiments had an average effect of 8% on the
number of new family planning adopters (Bauman, 1997). The campaigns included in
the evaluation used a variety of outreach methods, including radio, TV, posters, outreach
workers, and small media. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how the campaigns
that used evaluations with true experimental designs, with random assignment to
conditions, compare to other family planning campaigns, and therefore it is unknown
whether the results can be generalized to other family planning efforts.
The Bauman (1997) results are close to the average behavioral effect size (9%)
for all health topics in U.S. mediated campaigns (Snyder, Hamilton, Mitchell, Kiwanuka-
Tondo, Fleming Milici, and Proctor, in press). Note that the results varied by health topic
– from r = .15 for seatbelt campaigns to r = .04 for mammography and sexual behavior
campaigns.


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