January 10, 2018
The Drum BeatSelections from The CI's Polio Communication Knowledge Repository - The Drum Beat 749
January 10 2018
POLIO STRATEGIC THINKING: Human Behaviour at the Centre, Polio's Last Hiding Places
POLIO EXPERIENCES: Vaccine Necklace, Polio on Film and on Air
JOIN US: Global Summit: What Works? - Shifting Norms, Changing Behaviours, Amplifying Voices
POLIO EVALUATIONS: Assessing SMNet, Engaging Youth
POLIO MATERIALS: Outbreak Comms Guide, Hesitancy Catalogue
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  • 1. Placing Human Behavior at the Center of the Fight to Eradicate Polio: Lessons Learned and Their Application to Other Life-Saving Interventions

    by Sherine Guirguis et al.
    This report, included in a special open-access edition of The Journal of Infectious Diseases exploring polio endgame activities, articulates what happened when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) began to pay more attention to the dynamics of human and social behaviour change. Three particular lessons for other health and immunisation programmes can be drawn from the experience of GPEI: (i) Behaviour change must come first from individuals and organisations themselves before change can be seen in the communities with whom we seek to engage. (ii) Good data are not enough for good decision-making. (iii) Health workers are important agents of behaviour change. [Jun 2017]

  • 2. Every Last Hiding Place: Fifteenth Report of the Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

    by Sir Liam Donaldson (Chair) et al.
    This, the 15th report produced by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the GPEI, follows the Board's October 31 - November 1 2017 meeting with GPEI staff, donors, extended partners, and health ministers and officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. In this report, the IMB states its firm belief that polio eradication can and will be achieved, calling on the leadership to re-energise the polio programme and inspire their staff to complete it. Among the report's 16 recommendations: The GPEI should distil a list of the most effective metrics derived from social data and the most effective social-data-driven interventions from over the past decade. [Dec 2017]

  • 3. Polio Immunization in Pakistan: Ethical Issues and Challenges

    by Sarah Basharat and Babar Tasneem Shaikh
    This paper reviews some of the literature that highlights the ethical and religious concerns surrounding polio vaccination and what approaches may be used to counter the problems faced in Pakistan. These include, for example, engaging with religious scholars and clergy, establishing a vaccine logistics management information system, launching public campaigns focusing on behaviour change, and widening the outreach and coverage through female health workers. The authors stress that the polio programme needs to reflect local value systems whilst en route to polio eradication. Suggested here is a hybrid approach whereby goals and strategies are negotiated and formulated involving local organisations and community notables at all stages. [Feb 2017]

  • 4. Tracking Vaccination Teams During Polio Campaigns in Northern Nigeria by Use of Geographic Information System Technology: 2013-2015

    by Kebba Touray et al.
    This article demonstrates the application of geographic information system (GIS) technology to track polio vaccination teams in Nigeria to monitor settlement coverage, reduce the number of missed settlements, and improve team performance. The maps generated provided the background data for the use of GIS maps for microplanning and also facilitated the tracking of vaccination team members during polio supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs). "[T]he use of GIS, as demonstrated in this study, is highly valuable in improving population immunity. It is a useful analytical tool for incorporation into health programs, especially in microplanning for polio campaigns, routine immunization, disease surveillance, and response systems..." [Nov 2015]

Sent via email every other month, DB CLICK: Immunisation, Vaccines, and Polio complements The Drum Beat through a specific focus on immunisation, vaccine, and polio. If you have colleagues who wish to receive The Drum Beat and DB Click: Immunisation, Vaccines and Polio, please ask them to email with the words "Subscribe: IVP". Thank you.
  • 5. Khushi Baby

    Due to the fact that it is traditional for newborns in northern India to wear a black thread necklace as a symbol of good health and good fortune, this version features a round pendant on the string as a wearable device called Khushi Baby. It carries the child's vaccination history inside a computerised chip about the size of a dime. When vaccinations are administered, healthcare workers can scan the necklace with their Khushi Baby app on their smartphone to transfer vaccination data to the necklace.

  • 6. Engaging Communities in Preparation for Third Round of Polio Vaccination Campaign

    In the lead-up to a January 2016 nationwide (Ukrainian) polio vaccination campaign, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health, and Rotary organised various awareness and social mobilisation events to engage the community, journalists, governors, educators, and health workers at different levels, in order to increase vaccination rates and decrease refusals. In every event, audience participation was very important (i.e., making participants feel they can voice their concerns), as was the presence of experts to provide answers to debunk any rumours.

  • 7. Leap of Faith

    Image Nation Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites (UAE), developed a film- and radio-based campaign in an effort to create strong awareness about polio and polio vaccination among the vast Pakistani expatriate population in the UAE. Central to this initiative is a short (2.5-minute-long) Urdu-language film that captures the story of a Pakistani expatriate working as a taxi driver in Dubai, UAE, and the impact polio has on the life of his children living in Pakistan. He reflects on his regret at not getting his daughter vaccinated against polio.

  • 8. Ghamai

    Featuring a mixture of interviews, drama, and discussion, Ghamai, which means "Jewel" in Pashto, is a weekly radio programme developed by BBC Media Action to help improve children's health in Afghanistan by reaching mothers, in particular, with information. Interviews are one component of Ghamai. For example, 24-year-old Sabri Andar, who uses a wheelchair after suffering from polio as a child, told her story on air. She is an adviser for Afghanistan's Ministry of Education and leads the country's National Youth Parliament. The producers hope Sabri's personal story will inspire other people with disabilities; it also allows the show's presenters to talk about how polio is transmitted and how people can prevent it through vaccinations.

Please consider attending the 2018 International Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Summit (featuring Entertainment-Education) - April 16 to 20, 2018 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia

Registration is open for anyone with an interest in learning about and furthering the science and art of SBCC. Click here for more information.

  • 9. Evaluation of Social Mobilization Network (SMNet): Final Report

    by the Deloitte Evaluation Team
    A key finding of this independent assessment of India's Social Mobilization Network (SMNet) is that the organisation was effective in reducing polio vaccine refusal rates, reaching underserved communities with health messages, and helping these communities connect with frontline health workers. Established by UNICEF in Uttar Pradesh (UP) in 2002 and expanded to Bihar in 2005 to generate community support for polio immunisation activities, SMNet deployed community mobilisers in areas identified as high risk with the main task to work with resistant communities and to encourage uptake of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) during Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs). [Jan 2014]

  • 10. Efforts to Monitor Global Progress on Individual and Community Demand for Immunization: Development of Definitions and Indicators for the Global Vaccine Action Plan Strategic Objective 2

    by Benjamin Hickler et al.
    The Second Strategic Objective (SO2) of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), "individuals and communities understand the value of vaccines and demand immunization as both their right and responsibility", is unique among the objectives in that it focuses on public demand for vaccines and immunisation services rather than on the supply side of immunisation programmes. This commentary summarises the work and findings of the UNICEF/WHO SO2 informal Working Group on Vaccine Demand (iWGVD), which developed a definition of demand and indicators related to SO2. [May 2017]

  • 11. Assessing the Effectiveness of House-to-House Visits on Routine Oral Polio Immunization Completion and Tracking of Defaulters

    by Dora Ward Curry et al.
    These researchers assessed the communication strategies developed by the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) to support the GPEI in high-risk areas in Angola, Ethiopia, and India. The CGPP uses a variety of social mobilisation/communication strategies; the focus of this study is on the household visits carried out by community health workers (CHWs). In short: "The evidence presented supports the conclusion that the CGPP approach of targeting high-risk areas for house-to-house visits played a role in increasing routine OPV3 completion." [Jun 2014]

  • 12. Youth Group Engagement in Noncompliant Communities During Supplemental Immunization Activities in Kaduna, Nigeria, in 2014

    by Audu Musa et al.
    In 2014, security threats to vaccination team members were prominent, especially in Igabi, Kaduna North, Zaria, Giwa, Soba, and Kudan local government areas (LGAs). On several occasions, apart from OPV vaccination refusal, team members were assaulted and their immunisation materials destroyed, with a resultant increase in the number of children chronically missed by SIAs. To address this problem, an intervention was introduced in May 2014 to identify and engage young people from several areas in OPV-refusing communities. During the polio vaccination campaign, the sensitised youth were deployed to areas of documented noncompliance and vaccination team harassment. The proportion of missed children decreased in Igabi LGA in all 8 rounds of the SIAs except round 8. [Nov 2015]

Essential Resources - Polio Communication
  • Check out The CI Polio Team's compilation of essential polio communication resources! The selection of resources covers the following areas:

  • * Technical - provides access to core technical documents published by organisations at the centre of the polio eradication effort.
  • * Tools and Guides - provides tools and guides that offer practical advice for designing, implementing, and monitoring a successful communication programme.
  • * Theory - provides insight into how change in the behaviours of individuals and communities can be effected, and how different theories can be applied depending on the objectives of particular programmes.
  • * Lessons - provides an overview of lessons learned across the GPEI and highlights communication lessons in specific topic areas that have proven to be central to the success of polio initiatives.
  • * Transition - provides resources for those engaged in transition efforts, with a focus on the central role of communication.
  • * Opinion - a selection of brief editorials by people working to eradicate polio, which reflect their greatest hopes and fears for the polio eradication initiative at this point in time.

  • Please send us your reflections on the choices and your own suggestions for essential documents. Just contact
  • 13. Outbreak: Polio Communications Global Guide

    This resource is Part 2 of a 4-part GPEI/UNICEF guide, which is a how-to manual for planning and building effective mass media and interpersonal communication (IPC) strategies with the ultimate goal of eradicating polio. It walks the communicator through the outbreak communication phases and the planning and action needed to quickly create awareness and urgency for polio immunisations in the initial stages while still being able to adapt to a more nuanced approach focusing on community building and social norms for later stages. [2016]

  • 14. Eradicating Polio: Reaching the Last Child [Webcast]

    In this event, held in advance of World Polio Day 2017 and in partnership with National Public Radio (NPR), experts from the Government of Pakistan, UNICEF, Rotary International, and the Harvard Opinion Research Program explained what factors contributed to the progress that has led to near eradication of the disease. Looking specifically at the latest findings from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, the speakers described the key roles of polling and data collection, of community and family engagement, and of new communication efforts to reach populations that are on the move and to build trust that enables widespread vaccinations. [Oct 2017]

  • 15. Positioning Demand Generation in National EPI Planning and Implementation Processes: A Quick Guide to Assist Immunisation and Communication Planners and Managers

    by Janine Simon-Meyer
    Created in support of SO2 of the GVAP, this guide was initiated by the UNICEF WCARO (West & Central Africa Region), the WHO AFRO (Africa Regional Office), and the UNICEF ESARO (East and South Africa Regional Office). These organisations note in the opening pages of the guide that traditional communication for development approaches, based on the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) and proven communication theories, are used to generate demand for immunisation services and increase immunisation uptake. [Jan 2017]

  • 16. Catalogue of Interventions Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy

    This catalogue provides tools and information resources to support European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) countries in addressing the issue of vaccine hesitancy. In addition, it provides examples of individual- and community-level interventions that can serve as a resource for other countries, shares practical tips and lessons learned, and offers guidance for adapting the practices according to national and local needs and strategies. Commissioned by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), it was produced by the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). [Apr 2017]



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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

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ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI),
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