This World Health Organization and New York University course focuses on strategic communication planning for behavioral impact in health and social development. A core principle of the course is that "behavioral results are the primary end-goals of health and social development programs" and as such the course stresses that behavioral impact comes with effective communication programmes purposefully planned for behavioral results, and not directed just at awareness creation, advocacy, or public education. The private sector experience in successfully using Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) for consumer behavioral results points to an approach for achieving behavioral objectives in health and social development. WHO has been applying this approach to various health issues over the past five years and refers to it as "COMBI", Communication-for-Behavioral-Impact. UNICEF country offices have also used this approach with several health and social development challenges.

IMC/COMBI is not about producing posters and T-shirts and pamphlets. It applies in an integrated way the disciplines of marketing (including village-level marketing traditions), public relations and public advocacy, administrative mobilisation, advertising, counselling, personal selling, community mobilisation, health education, mass communication, folk media, and market research -- dedicated to the ultimate behavioral outcome.

The course is intended for health and social development professionals who have the responsibility for designing, supervising or managing health education, health promotion, communication for development (C4D),and other information-education-communication (IEC) programmes to achieve specific behavioral results in health and social development. Prior communication experience is not required for this Institute.

Participants will learn how to apply the techniques and 10-step process of IMC/COMBI in the strategic planning of communication programmes for behavioral results. Participants will cover the following topics: Communication and Behavioral Goals; Basic Communication Techniques (Mass Media, Small Group and Personal Selling/Interpersonal Communication/Counselling); Marketing Principles and Practices for IMC; Sexual Health Communication/Sexual Attitudes Reassessment;   Marketing Research and Programme Evaluation; Community Mobilisation; Communication for Development (C4D); Advertising and Public Relations; and an Integrated Marketing Communication Practicum. Each participant will work as part of a team on the design of an IMC/COMBI plan for a specific behavioral objective in a health or other social development field of his or her choice.

The Institute Coordinator is Dr. Everold N. Hosein, Senior Communication Advisor-Consultant, World Health Organisation.

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