Like is most other parts of Asia, people’s knowledge, attitudes and practices including socio-cultural beliefs and norms have a strong influence on whether they use services or not. Thus, strategic Communication for Development (C4D) is used as a priority in promoting demand and ensure effective use of service. In the past years, C4D approach has been used for:
Implementation of the maternal, child health and nutrition C4D strategy:
To promote essential family practices on mother and child health and nutrition and promote demand for utilization of health services, the country office collaborated with the Health Promotion Division, Ministry of Health in production and dissemination of creative C4D materials to engage mothers, caregivers and village health workers. As a result of a series of Inter-personal Communication trainings and development and dissemination of job aid materials, more than 200 village health workers in five priority districts now have improved knowledge and interpersonal communication skills on mother and child health, specifically young child feeding practices, including hygiene and sanitation.
Promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools:
WASH in School trainings helped enhance knowledge and skills of more than 250 school health coordinators in promoting hygiene and sanitation in community schools. Constant mass media programme has contributed in enhancing the general public awareness on hygiene and sanitation.
The concerted advocacy through use of creative C4D materials increased understanding among the policy-makers on importance of investing in the early years as evident from the inclusion of the ECCD within the draft National Education Policy. Similarly, parents, teachers, ECCD and NFE Instructors; and health workers of seven priority districts have better knowledge and skills in providing sensitive and responsive care for the ‘holistic’ development of children.
Partnership with Broadcast Media:
Further, collaboration with Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) the national broadcast station has ensured better reach and quality of BBS TV and radio programmes thereby enhancing public knowledge and behaviors on issues affecting their lives particularly mother and child health, hygiene and sanitation; early child care and development and youth. This collaboration also contributed in enhancing media practioners’ knowledge and skills in development of relevant media programmes targeting the family. According to the Bhutan Information and Media Impact Study 2013, TV (56 per cent) and radio (45 per cent) adequately represented people’s views. The study showed that national TV had the widest influence (57 per cent), followed by Indian TV channels (41 per cent) and national radio (38 per cent) on people’s thinking and attitude.
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