COMMUNICATING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
How do we motivate the people we serve to adopt healthier behaviours?
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, behaviour change communication (BCC) is the act of motivating people to adopt healthier behaviours, such as using a condom or adopting a healthier diet.
From television and radio to print and social media to one-on-one outreach in communities, PSI-Caribbean connects with people where they are in compelling and culturally appropriate ways. This takes many forms, including:
- A BCC peer educator in St Vincent doing a condom demonstration for a group of young man at a local bar.
- A regional competition asking for young people to produce and submit a music video via Facebook that speaks to HIV prevention.
- A radio ad in Antigua and St Kitts promoting the importance of voluntary counselling and testing for STI’s to members of the military.
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 behaviours, motivators, barriers, and other things that may influence decisions about health.
How do we motivate health care professionals to provide health products and services?
In many places in the Caribbean, people rely on advice from health care providers, aunties, trusted neighbours 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 as the people they serve.
We support health workers from partner organizations with tailored skills building initiatives and capacity building opportunities that help improve their knowledge and business practices. Health workers must believe in the value of the service or product for consumers and see how it can help their organization.