How do we motivate the people we serve to adopt healthier behaviors?
Getting the right products and services to vulnerable populations is the first step to helping people live healthy lives; equally important is making sure they are in a supportive environment that encourages consistent and correct use.
In global health and development, behavior change communication (BCC) is the act of motivating people to adopt healthier behaviors, such as using a condom or washing their hands with soap.
From television and radio to print and social media to one-on-one outreach in communities, PSI connects with people where they are in compelling and culturally appropriate ways. This takes many forms, including:
- A community health worker showing a mother how to treat her child’s drinking water in their home in rural Haiti.
- A talk radio show in Benin where teens call in to discuss their questions about HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy.
- A television ad in Pakistan featuring a mother breastfeeding her son for the first time.
All of our communications are deeply rooted in the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the people we serve. In every country where we work, communications initiatives are designed, implemented and managed by local teams in collaboration with a wide range of partners, including:
- National and local experts and officials.
- International organizations.
- Community-based organizations.
Like a company uses the latest market research to develop campaigns to sell a product, we do the same with our health communications. Through consumer research, we determine which method of communication, –such as radio, billboards, television, or one-on-one outreach or aggressive promotion using the latest in digital media – will be most effective. We also study behaviors, motivators, barriers, and other things that may influence decisions about health.
How do we motivate health care workers to provide health products and services?
In many places in the developing world, people rely on advice from health care providers, aunties, trusted neighbors and others to help solve their health challenges. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and community health workers are more than just a channel for delivery of health products and services. Health workers are as important the people they serve.
We target health workers with tailored communications campaigns that help improve their knowledge and business practices. Especially true in the private sector, health workers must believe in the value of the service or product for consumers and see how it can help their business or practice.
We estimate the impact of our work in years of healthy life added through the distribution of our products and services.
We use a measurement tool developed by the World Bank and World Health Organization called a Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY), which estimates years of life lost due to death and disability.
We track the distribution of each product we deliver and service we provide. We then use our technical models to calculate the DALYs averted by our work, or in other words, the years of healthy life added.
One DALY averted = One year of healthy life added.
But a regular DALY doesn’t capture the impact of everything we do. When we increase the use of non-PSI products or services, such as Durex condoms, or boost the practice of healthy behaviors that are not tied to a product or service, such as abstinence or partner reduction, the health impact is estimated using behavior change communications (BCC) DALYs.
Currently, we have BCC DALY models for our HIV programs. Others are in development.
In 2013, we averted 103,923 BCC DALYs. In other words, we add 103,923 years of healthy life through the use of behavior change communication tools.
We use both branded and non-branded campaigns to encourage healthy behaviors and sometimes combine the two to simultaneously promote a behavior and encourage the use of a single product.
Our branded campaigns promote products or services, using commercial marketing techniques to create a demand for them and promote behavior change. Our non-branded campaigns use these same techniques to solely promote a certain behavior, such as hand-washing.
These campaigns are disseminated to the people we serve through a variety of channels, such as mass media, peer education, school programs, community theater, mobile multi-media events, interpersonal communication, and special events. They are presented in ways that people of various levels of education can benefit.
Watch some of our mass media campaigns from around the world:
HIV risk perception in India
Birth spacing in Pakistan
Breastfeeding in Pakistan
Abstinence among youth in Kenya
Check out these photos of Jeanine Nizigiyimana, a mother from Burundi who is educating other mothers in her village about how to protect their children from water-borne diseases.
Photos by: Benjamin Schilling
- PSI Vietnam: Social Marketing for Improved Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
To address unsafe water, poor hygiene and limited sanitation in rural communities, PSI Vietnam launched a market based sanitation initiative in rural areas of the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands.
- Developing Family Planning Markets in Francophone West Africa
In Francophone West Africa, PSI partners with Ministries of Health to achieve the goals set out by the Ouagadougou Partnership to reach at least 2.2 million additional family planning users by 2020. The pillars of our response are access, choice, quality, and equity.
- PBCC Program Self-Assessment Tool
This resource accompanies PSI's Provider Behavior Change Toolkit, which offers guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). It is a self-assessment tool for program managers to identify needs for successfully implementing a PBCC program.
- Mini Provider Behavior Change Toolkit
This resource accompanies PSI's Provider Behavior Change Toolkit, which offers guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). It is focused on provider-initiated IUD services.
- Provider Behavior Change Toolkit
This toolkit offers guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC) to positively influence provider behaviors by offering individualized solutions to providers' needs and barriers to behavior change.
- Provider Behavior Change Toolkit: Management & Coaching of Field Staff
This toolkit provides guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). Module 4 comprises a series of manuals and workbooks focused on building supervisors' skills to manage and coach PBCC representatives.
- Provider Behavior Change Toolkit: Skill Building Curricula for Field Representatives
This toolkit provides guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). Module 3 outlines workshops to build the skills of PBCC representatives to deliver messages.
- Provider Behavior Change Toolkit: Communications & Materials Development
This toolkit provides guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). Module 2 contains manuals and workshop tools for developing PBCC messages and materials.
- Provider Behavior Change Toolkit: Organization and Structure
This toolkit provides guidance for the design and management of programs that use Provider Behavior Change Communications (PBCC). Module 1 provides guidance around staffing and structure.
- Intensive Group Learning and On-Site Services to Improve Sexual and Reproductive Health Among Young Adults in Liberia: A Randomized Evaluation of HealthyActions
Combining intensive group learning and provision of on-site reproductive health services through an
existing alternative basic education program increased use of contraception and HIV testing and
counseling among young out-of-school Liberians.