Ensuring that all children are fully immunised continues to be a challenge in Bihar. Fear of the side effects of vaccination is one of the primary reasons for this – the child developing a fever or swelling due to vaccination are some of the main reasons for dropping out.
Filed insights reveal that while a mother always wants to protect her child from any kind of illness, she is not able to see the consequences of non-compliance ie. outweighing temporary side effects with life threatening diseases.
There’s no ‘right’ idea, generate many
Building on this insight, Shaping Demand and Practices developed a tool “Suraksha Chakra” (Safety net) to create a compelling argument that outweighs the threat from life threatening diseases v/s temporary side effects. For this we took the route of creating risk perception in the minds of the beneficiaries highlighting the life-threatening consequences of missing even a single dose of immunization.
We initially created a set of two prototypes for health workers to use to encourage vaccination: (i) a “weighing scale” to demonstrate the “trade-off” between minor side effects versus life-threatening diseases and (ii) a Suraksha Charka – “safety net” wheel to demonstrate that missing even a single dose can expose a child to life threatening diseases
Build to think and test to learn
Pre-test results revealed that the trade-off between a minor fever and a more dangerous disease presented by the scale was not clear to the target audience. The two ends of the spectrum were comprehended as one continuum by the audience.
This feedback led to the ‘scale’ prototype not being developed further and changes to the Suraksha Chakra ‘safety net’ wheel to (i) highlight that minor side effects are not dangerous and (ii) highlight the importance of compliance with a full vaccination schedule.
One of the core steps in the human-centered design process that we follow is to test solutions not once but multiple times till we reach the level of perfection. This requires the entire team’s commitment to learn from user tests and research, to redefine problems, to reboot strategy, to redo outputs, and to redesign implementation.
This is easier said than done, as it not only requires going through a rigor but also the humility to set aside theoretically great ideas that just do not work.
Needless to say, having such a comprehensive product development process paid off at the end – Suraksha Chakra has not only shown signs of impact but it has also been adopted by the Government of Bihar to be scaled across all 38 districts of the state.