International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

In the Spotlight: Communities


A RADIO SOAP OPERA Promoting the Culture of Prevention !

In recent years, disasters such as Hurricane Mitch and the El Salvador earthquakes have shown that a large part of the Central American population, particularly in rural areas, remains ignorant of disaster prevention, preparedness, and response measures.

Reducing the incidence and impact of disasters requires that the population improve its knowledge of disaster reduction and replace passive and sometimes destructive behavior with active and constructive approaches. Bearing this in mind, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) as well as CEPREDENAC (Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de Desastres en América Central) have teamed up to develop and broadcast a Radio Soap Opera in order to promote the culture of prevention in the region.


In this era of networks and silicon, many public service messages are produced with an eye to their transmission in cyberspace, even though a majority of the target audience does not have access to email or the World Wide Web.

In the Central American region, studies by communication experts have shown that a significant number of people do not even access to television sets, much less computers. In many cases, they cannot even read. This makes radio the most effective mass medium for widespread attitudinal change.

Among the various types of radio programs, SOAP OPERAS are the ones with the highest ratings. Moreover, because radio serials produce a strong sense of affective identification among listeners, they can produce real changes in behavior.

The show will consist of 20 episodes, which will be broadcast consecutively before and during the heavy rainfall and hurricane season.

For more information, please contact:
Jacqueline Flentge
Pan American Health Organización (PAHO)
Tel. (506) 255 1962/ 257 21 41