Yemen Research “Deep Dive”

On Tuesday, March 22, the BBG and the Department of State’s Office of Opinion Research co-hosted a research “deep dive” on Yemen at the BBG headquarters. The event brought together dozens of media research personnel in Washington and embassy staff in Sana’a, Yemen to analyze recent audience and attitudinal data for the purpose of informing U.S. government communication and engagement strategies.

Quintan Wiktorowicz, head of the Office of Global Engagement at the White House, provided opening remarks and stressed the importance of research-driven approaches and the value of such inter-agency cooperation.

The data presented suggested many opportunities for optimizing BBG broadcasting in the area. Among the actionable results of the meeting was the identification of an 800kw transmitter just off Yemen’s southwest coast in Djibouti that was redirected within a matter of days to broadcast Radio Sawa’s programming over a strong night-time signal into the important population centers of the country.

Aggregate research data shows that almost as many Yemenis listen to AM weekly (19%) as listen to FM (20%). Radio Sawa’s format is well matched to the very young Yemeni population (median age is just 18). The meeting’s presentations also suggested avenues for new media and greater citizen engagement that will be explored going forward.