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Impact Rating

Development Media International

Impact Audited

Impact: $1,700 saves the life of a child.

Child Survival Program meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit averts a disability-adjusted life year for less than the country's G.D.P. per capita.

Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of Development Media International.


Governance: Passes checks


Development Media International runs evidence-based media campaigns to change behaviors and improve lives in low-income countries.

Rated Program

Child Survival Program

Program Geography

Burkina Faso

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Rated Program

Child Survival Program

Program Geography

Burkina Faso

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Rated Program

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Child Survival Program


D.M.I. designs, develops and runs media campaigns that provide repeated exposure to information on how to improve child health.

Program Type

Community Health

Beneficiaries Served

People living in poverty
Children and youth
People with illnesses


Burkina Faso

Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.


Outcome Metric

A child's life saved.

To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.

Data Source

D.M.I. and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used administrative data on health-seeking behaviors from health facilities located in geographic clusters that were randomly selected to be exposed to the program (treatment) and not exposed to the program (control).

Time Period of Data

May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2017

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

To estimate the counterfactual, ImpactMatters built on analysis by D.M.I. and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who used the Lives Saved Tool to model the number of child lives saved as a result of specific changes in health-seeking behavior caused by D.M.I., such as increased uptake of antenatal care.

To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program.


Data Source

Cost data reported by Development Media International and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.

All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.


Impact Statement

$1,700 saves the life of a child.

Confidence in Impact Calculation

ImpactMatters assigned a rating of 5/5 for the audit team's confidence in its impact estimate for the Child Survival Program.

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.


Benchmark for Rating

Impact ratings of community health programs are based on the cost of a disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted relative to the G.D.P. per capita of the country in which the program operates. Programs receive 5 stars if they avert a DALY for less than than the G.D.P. per capita, and 4 stars if they avert a DALY for less than three times G.D.P. per capita. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.


The nonprofit averts a disability-adjusted life year for less than the country's G.D.P. per capita.

Why We Could Be Wrong

We welcome your suggestions for improving our methodology. Our methodology section includes explanations of how we mitigate these issues.

  • The outcome could oversimplify total impact. "A child's life saved" does not take into account the reduction in ill health and disability that the program caused.
  • There could be multiple important outcomes not captured in our analysis.
  • Development Media International may be spending additional money in order to serve harder-to-reach and/or particularly valuable populations.
  • In the absence of better data, we assume uniform counterfactual rates for programs, at the risk of masking variation across nonprofits.
  • Our estimates rely on data made public by Development Media International on its website, annual reports, financial statements and Form 990s.
  • We only analyze programs that meet our criteria. As a result, this report may not fully reflect the impact of Development Media International.
  • We do not assess what explains the nonprofit's cost-effectiveness.

We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:

  • There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.

  • After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.

    We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.

  • The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

  • The rated program is cost-effective.

  • The rated program is highly cost-effective.

Read More

Nonprofit Comment

DMI thanks ImpactMatters for the rigour and thoroughness of this impact audit. We feel that the results of this audit reflect the emphasis that DMI places on robustly evaluating the impact of our work. We recognise and appreciate the efforts ImpactMatters have made to include the full costs of saving lives, including costs to patients and governments. It’s worth emphasising that of the $1700 required to save a life, just $400 is DMI’s cost. The remainder, as ImpactMatters make clear, is largely the cost of drugs and is born by the patients. Readers should note that the cost per cycle of anti-malarial or antibiotic treatment is in the $1-2 range, which is affordable for most households.

— Development Media International

Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.

Analysis Details

Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

This rating is based on an independent audit by ImpactMatters. Using data from the audit, ImpactMatters analysts calculated impact and assigned a rating.

We welcome corrections. If you are interested in exploring applications of ImpactMatters data, contact us at

Governance Check

Development Media International passes our governance check.

Conducted a financial audit

Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)

Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory

Source: Development Media International Form 990 and Charity Navigator

How We Calculate Impact

This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Child Survival Program relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.

For Donors

A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.

For Nonprofits

Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.

For Researchers

Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.

Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.