260583 Using positive stories and local content to revitalize family planning through a “surround and engage” model in urban slums of Uttar Pradesh, India

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sukhpal Marwa, MA , JHU.CCP, Urban Health Initiative, Lucknow, India
Dalbir Singh, Journalism and Mass Communication , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHU.CCP), UHI, New Delhi, India
Geetali Trivedi, MA , Urban Health Initiative, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School/Center for Communication Programs, Lucknow, India
Nilesh Chatterjee, PhD, MA, MBBS , Bloomberg School of Public Health, JHUCCP (Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs), New Delhi, India
Harbhajan Singh, MBA , JHU.CCP, UHI, New Delhi, India
Safdar Ali, Masters in Mass Communication , JHU.CCP, UHI, New Delhi, India
Mukesh Sharma, MBA, Masters in Rural Development, Masters in population science (pursuing) , Family Health International, UHI, Aligarh, India
Basil Safi, Asia Division Chief , Center of Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Gabrielle Hunter, MHS , JHU.CCP, Baltimore, Maryland
Objective • Identify and capture positive user experiences for family planning (FP)through themed reality contest • Amplify positive deviant stories through mass-media • Encouraging silent acceptors to become catalytic FP advocates Background TFR for urban poor in Uttar Pradesh, India is 4.2. Formative research revealed 1) fear of side-effects is major barrier to acceptance of FP. Positive experiences are seldom shared while negative stories spread virally, 2) aspirations for better future and growing influence of media are opportunities for behavior change. Methodology “The Search for Happy Couples” Happy Dampatti contest was conceptualized as an integrated model to surround and engage hard to reach communities in 128 slums of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh covering approx 5,00,000 population. It sought to identify and celebrate local positive role models through community level reality shows. Eligible couples were invited to enroll through home-visits by community workers supported by mid media publicity. Enrolment camps provided couples opportunities to share their FP experiences on camera. Recorded stories were judged by expert panels to select winners who were felicitated at community events. Their positive stories were amplified on local TV networks creating an enabling environment for FP. Results • 11500 couples participated; 350 positive stories recorded; 35 winners felicitated • Chain reaction triggered as winners motivate their networks to accept FP.

Conclusion ‘Surround and Engage' model combined with mass-media amplification can serve as a sustainable BCC tool for urban poor as it brings family planning out of the closet and promotes normative change through true positive stories.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate use of local role models for seeding community networks for increasing demand for modern contraceptive methods.

Keywords: Family Planning, Communication Effects

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible and accountable to implement all communication related activities in Aligarh. I am a principal author of this abstract. Testing small and big communication activities and impact assessment of the same is one of my scientific interests.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.