Skip to main content


Hutchinson, Paul L.; Lance, Peter M.; Guilkey, David K.; Shahjahan, Mohammad; & Haque, Shahida (2006). Measuring the Cost-Effectiveness of a National Health Communication Program in Rural Bangladesh. Journal of Health Communication, 11(Suppl. 2), 91-121.


In this article we examine the cost-effectiveness of the Smiling Sun multichannel media campaign, which was undertaken in Bangladesh from 2001 to 2003 and involved a nationally broadcast television serial drama supported by radio, television, newspaper, and billboard advertisements and local promotion activities. The goal was to encourage the use of a package of family health services at NGO (nongovernmental organization) Service Delivery Program (NSDP) providers. This analysis relates the costs of the Smiling Sun campaign at the national and local level to measures of change in the use of health services, namely, antenatal care and childhood immunizations. Effectiveness is measured using data from cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2001 and 2003 in NSDP catchment areas in rural Bangladesh. The statistical approach, bivariate probit estimation, controls for nonrandom exposure to the program's media messages, advertisements, and signs. Using national-level data, we find that the Smiling Sun campaign was both effective and cost-effective, inducing higher levels of service utilization for only $0.05 per additional antenatal care (ANC) user and only $0.30 and $0.36 for each additional child vaccinated for measles and DPT3, respectively. With respect to local promotion activities, the cost per attributable behavior change was considerably higher - nearly $8 per new ANC user, $37 per new DPT3 vaccination, and $32 per new measles vaccination.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Health Communication


Hutchinson, Paul L.
Lance, Peter M.
Guilkey, David K.
Shahjahan, Mohammad
Haque, Shahida