14 March 2019
Researchers in Princeton University; the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) commissioned a movie from IROKOTV in Nigeria, the third largest producer of films in Nigeria. The two-hour film, “Water of Gold,” was written by Kabat Esosa and produced by Iroko Partners with Magic Movies Productions. It starred two big Nigerian stars: Yemi Blaq and Mike Ezuruonye.

Relese of the documentary followed by text-messaging campaign generated 241 corruption reports from 106 communities in just seven months, said the researchers. A previous corruption-reporting campaign yielded less than 140 reports in a full year. The movie and the texting campaign made it free and simple for people to reply to a message that came to their phone, regarding an issue they found to be important.

Levy Paluck, who is deputy director of Princeton’s Kahneman-Treisman Centre for Behavioural Science & Public Policy, conducted the study with Graeme Blair from UCLA and Rebecca Littman from MIT. Through their two-part field experiment, they sought to understand how to persuade a group of people to try a new form of community-minded action. Phys Org reported.