The research design combined two sources of variation to create four treatment groups in a factorial design (Table 1). First, the soap opera was broadcast via a community loudspeaker only reaching a portion of the community due to topographical conditions (the natural experiment component). Households within the loudspeaker’s reach were also randomly invited by the regional NGO to listen to the soap opera program at a community meeting, with the remaining households able to hear the broadcast at their homes regardless.
The study was conducted in 26 municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, México, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro. The municipalities and states were chosen based on holding municipal elections in 2015, municipalities receiving ASF audit results in 2015, security and logistical considerations, and ensuring that incumbents from different parties were proportionately represented within these states.