"If it isn't safe, it isn't food."
USAID was looking for innovative approaches to an entrenched, age-old problem in low and middle income countries: unsafe food making people chronically ill. Most who have traveled around the world have likely experienced food borne illness at some point or another, but for those that live in places where food is often contaminated with viruses, bad bacteria, and other pathogens, recurrent illness can lead to stunting in children, severely compromised immune systems, and generally bad health that devastates quality of life. Simply put, unsafe food is not food at all.
Selected out of hundreds of applicants, Pierce Mill was asked to use its expertise in storytelling and entertainment-education to think through and produce programs that use media to impact behavior change.
Operating in northern Nigeria and southern Ethiopia and partnering with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the International Livestock Research Institute, and the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, Pierce Mill is leading the social and behavior change media development for EatSafe, USAID’s flagship food safety program.
As part of the media development process, Pierce Mill created a unique research methodology called Story Sourcing, in which we gather stories directly from EatSafe’s target audience (traditional market vendors and consumers) and use those stories as the basis for creative story development. This is key, as culturally relevant and compelling stories help unlock keys to behavior change.