Rethinking communication for maternal and child health

This briefing tells the story of the SDP project and its impact. It documents a particular approach to project design and implementation that proved effective both in achieving change in the highly challenging environment of Bihar and in developing health communication solutions that could be scaled up nationally.


The briefing finds that there were five intertwined success factors underpinning the project, namely:


  •       -  Employing fresh thinking about potential communication platforms to ensure that all possible opportunities for audience interaction were exploited

  •      -  Using a human-centred design approach that involved immersive research into people’s lives and the testing and refinement of communication solutions to ensure impact

  •      -  Maintaining a rigorous focus on the “art and craft” of designing health communication outputs, drawing on creativity and experiences drawn from working with mass media to maximise audience engagement

  •      -  Devising new tools and approaches to reinvigorate the role that frontline health workers play in driving population-level behaviour change

  •      -  Commitment to partnerships with state and national government, rooted in the co-design of project outputs, to ensure that the results were sustained after the lifetime of the project


Despite challenges in reaching audiences in vast and poorly connected settings like Bihar, multi-pronged communication strategies can be effective in influencing large numbers of people and encouraging the adoption of critical health behaviours.



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