Online Program

Governments adopt strategic behavior change communication: An experience in technical assistance

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Heer Chokshi, Ms, Communication and Program Development, Futures Group International India, Gurgaon, India
Shuvi Sharma, Ms, Futures Group International, Gurgaon, India
Background: The USAID funded IFPS Technical Assistance Project, India (2005-12) provided assistance to the ministry of health and family welfare at the national level and state health departments for behavior change communication(BCC).

Strategies: When projects propose BCC strategies and campaigns that are in sync with the health departments' goals, strategies, timelines and available budgets, it ensures buy-in, and increased ownership. Bureaucrats and Public health staff tend to interfere with messaging, imagery, layouts, creative routes of BCC materials- formative research and pretesting rough cuts or draft designs is a good way to contend this is in a subtle, yet concrete way. Many requests for campaign development from the governments have extremely tight deadlines. Instead of agreeing to deliver low- quality and unfinished work, it helps to draw out the realistic timeline, encompassing all possible steps that will be required and show how it can be expedited as well. This ensures critical processes involved in producing good quality campaigns are understood. Timelines need to reflect atleast three rounds of approvals from the respective departments involved, this helps in reducing ‘too many' reviewers. Friendly, understanding, professional relationships with people at all levels; not involving self in ‘office politics' ensures that the individual and organization is respected and trusted, leading to increased openness to newer ideas.

Results: State BCC strategies developed; the State Implementation Plans of three states, for the last three years have BCC chapters; BCC at the core of the national health program, ‘Swasth Bharat' and mass media campaigns on family planning.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify the processes involved in getting the public health system to plan strategic BCC cmapaigns

Keyword(s): Planning, Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 13 years experience in the development sector- designing and managing large and small scale, strategic, strategic communication and advocacy programs in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state governments,and other stakeholders on maternal, adolescent and child health and family planning. I have designed and executed multiple 360 degree campaigns that include audio video, print & digital media, performing arts, event-based activities for marketing, advocacy, brand building and behavior change.
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.