Date: 
September 6, 2017
The Drum BeatHopes and Fears: Polio Opinion and Essentials - The Drum Beat 742
September 6, 2017
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In this issue:
INTRODUCING YOU TO POLIO ESSENTIALS AND AN EDITORIAL SERIES
POLIO HOPES AND FEARS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
ROADMAP OF ESSENTIAL RESOURCES - POLIO COMMUNICATION
PLEASE TAKE OUR SURVEY
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This Drum Beat shares with you news of a recent addition to The CI polio communication website structure - Essential Resources, or Essentials for short. Part of The CI Polio Team's continuing process to improve how we share information and encourage dialogue, this addition is designed to ensure the site continues to be optimised for practitioners as the polio programme evolves and edges closer to eradication. We created a new set of tabs that organise content around what we felt were the most urgent needs for a programme now focused on the final stages of eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which include continuing to keep Nigeria polio free after the setbacks in 2016, responding to outbreaks and importations in otherwise polio-free countries, ensuring adequate coverage in high-risk countries where there is no polio but risk factors are high, and beginning to transition to a post-polio world. To that end, we have identified what we feel are essential, seminal resources in 6 categories, together with short lists of additional reading that we hope will be useful to communicators on the ground. This is only a beginning, and we are acutely aware that using a term like 'essential' is dangerous territory. Many of you may wonder at some of our choices, and we want to hear from you. Please read further for more details and an invitation to participate in this work in progress.

One of the 6 categories of the Essentials structure is Opinion. There, we are currently featuring 7 editorials written in response to the question, What are your greatest hopes and deepest fears for the success of the polio eradication programme? We posed this question early in spring 2017 to a small group of people with varied but informed insight into the programme. What resulted was Hopes and Fears, a series of editorials from people with different backgrounds and perspectives on the polio programme focused on where the polio programme is today, where it is going, and how communication has and can contribute. Some of the writers work inside the programme, and some do not; all have reflected and shared views on polio eradication recently. (Please visit the URLs below to read a short bio of each writer.) Their pieces, small portions of which are included below (listed in the order we received them), reflect both the optimism that drives the programme and the hard-headed realism that has come to guide it. We encourage you to follow the links, read the full editorials, and contribute further ideas through the comments section at the bottom of each or through the discussion on either The Polio and Immunization Network or The Health Communication Network.
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HOPES AND FEARS
  • 1. Seeing What We Don't See: An Experience of Supportive Supervision

    by Ellen Coates
    "...Traveling in Africa and Asia with a polio Outbreak Response Assessment (OBRA) team was an eye-opening experience. None of us ever know what we don't know - managers who don't watch the work being done can’t possibly know what performance gaps exist, and where there are opportunities to support staff and strengthen quality....Significant investments are being made in training, but how much of these investments include the supportive supervision training that can ensure both real-time information on gaps in performance and the opportunity to close the gaps and ensure high-quality health service delivery? And do training programs that build managers' or supervisors' supportive supervision skills do so in a way that using them, at least in informal ways, becomes a way of life, applied not just to a specific project or a long-term program but to all activities, including unexpected ones such as outbreak response campaigns? If we are to eradicate polio and sustain the other achievements made in public health, we can't afford to fail in the area of supportive supervision."
    Click here to read the full editorial.
    Click here to comment on the editorial within The CI's Development Groups network.

     
  • 2. Putting America First Means Eradicating Polio

    by Nellie Bristol
    "The road to polio eradication has been nothing if not torturous. The initiative is credited with spectacular achievements....But, despite being so close to success, obstacles continue to arise....As a primary driver of the initiative and one of its most stalwart supporters, continued engagement by the U.S. [United States] government is essential to eradication's success. The newly developing America First agenda should take a broad view, keeping eradication's impact firmly in mind. It should encourage fierce U.S. commitment to stopping polio transmission and then to poliovirus containment and post-certification activities. It should adopt a proactive stance to repurposing polio infrastructure to other health advances..."
    Click here to read the full editorial.
    Click here to comment on the editorial within The CI's Development Groups network.

     
  • 3. Hope and Momentum in Ukraine

    by Judy Twigg
    "It has become commonplace to talk about nearing the 'finish line' on polio eradication, but critical challenges remain along the last mile....Yet glimmers - beacons, even - of hope crop up in some of the most unlikely places. One of those is today's Ukraine. In the summer of 2015, Ukraine burst onto the global polio landscape with two cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus in a western province closer to seven other European capitals than its own, Kyiv....An independent, energetic new acting health minister - Dr. Ulana Suprun...and her young, reform-minded team, working with the full support of the Prime Minister, have collaborated with leading anti-corruption NGOs [non-governmental organisations] to restore integrity and predictability to vaccine supply....[T]hese positive developments with vaccines and procurement have cascaded into a series of actions impacting the entire health sector. They helped to ignite momentum for broader change....With the right kind of sustained investment and support, Ukraine will be a case study of work for polio eradication producing hope not only for polio, but for essential health system strengthening across the board."
    Click here to read the full editorial and to comment within the Comments section. (Watch for the discussion to come within The CI's Development Groups network!)

     
  • 4. From Polio's Small Victories to Development's Global Wins

    by Claire Hajaj
    "...The largest health effort on earth. The biggest development cooperation in history. A global public good. Polio eradication is indeed all those things. And yet, for all its epic scale and historical ambitions, polio eradication is also - perhaps mostly - the story of the very small. Tiny pockets of resistance at the centres of great metropolises. Remote towns and villages where health workers don't come. The handful of women and men who take a stand against the virus - even at grave personal risk.... This obsession with smallness makes polio eradication invaluable - whether it succeeds or fails. Over-budget and over-time it may be - but we need polio eradication and its small victories, desperately fought and hard-won, if we are to achieve our other ambitions. Why is polio so important? Because our global problems are not global at all; rather, they come down to very local issues....[I]f we can approach the Sustainable Development Goals with a fraction of polio's precision and passion - then everyone's biggest wins are still ahead."
    Click here to read the full editorial and to comment within the Comments section. (Watch for the discussion to come within The CI's Development Groups network!)

     
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Join Development Networks and comment on the editorials - it is not too late!
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  • 5. Are There Lasting Lessons from Polio Eradication for Global Health?

    by Sue Goldstein
    "...What I would like to discuss is the role of communication and social change communication in the process and the need to retain the lessons and human resources that have been developed through this extensive effort. My hope is that with these lessons we can go onto improving the health of millions of people worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The most important lesson in my view is basing of communication on evidence and not on the 'knowledge' of the implementers....A model of change needs to be used....Social mobilization is a critical component to reaching every last child and every last virus....Stakeholder communication has to be well planned and include all stakeholders....Integration of polio immunization with other services (e.g., health camps, or providing commodities such as soap) is important....The final lesson is the integration of communication into plans and programmes....Getting to the last incidence of the virus in ending polio worldwide is an amazing, coordinated international achievement that must be celebrated. The best celebration would be to take all the lessons, examine them and find ways to implement them in ways that improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable on planet earth."
    Click here to read the full editorial and to comment within the Comments section. (Watch for the discussion to come within The CI's Development Groups network!)

     
  • 6. Polio Eradication Hopes and Fears: What Next?

    by Heidi Larson and Will Schulz
    "...The time has come...to begin planning our answer when the question is asked again, as it surely will be: What next? We hope that when the global health community answers this question again, we will draw on the experience we have accrued over the decades of the polio programme. Most of all, we hope that we will be honest with ourselves as to the challenges - including the practical as well as political hurdles we will encounter.... We hope that we will remember not only the problems polio has presented, but also the solutions it spurred us to invent, notably the unprecedented advances in: disease surveillance, mapping of remote settlements, tracking technologies for managing vaccination teams, and adaptive models for delivering vaccines in difficult political environments. Although technological advances may render some of these outmoded in time, the deeper insights - that recruiting local vaccinators increases public trust, for example - can be expected to endure. Finally, we also hope that we will not forget the sacrifices made by health workers and volunteers, especially those who gave their lives to deliver vaccines to children in the most dangerous corners of the world....If the next eradication programme comes along in ten years or a hundred, we will give it the best possible chance of success by being clear and honest about the challenges we've faced."
    Click here to read the full editorial and to comment within the Comments section. (Watch for the discussion to come within The CI's Development Groups network!)

     
  • 7. Polio: Highest Hopes and Deepest Fears for the GPEI Based on Where It Is Now

    by Peter da Costa
    "...For me, the recognition of the critical importance of communication and social mobilization as an integral part of the polio 'End Game' strategy is one of the abiding achievements of the GPEI [Global Polio Eradication Initiative] that will inform efforts to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks for years to come. And from where I sit as a member of the Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG), having also participated in TAGs in Central Africa and Nigeria, there is a lot of progress to celebrate. For example, we've seen an array of creative risk communication innovations developed in response to the outbreaks in recent years....In the meantime, and even as teams improve country preparedness, surveillance and response capability, challenges persist....A number of challenges keep me awake at night....All in all, I'm more hopeful than fearful. But the hope is contingent on: intensified vigilance and mobilization by government health systems; continued proactive support from UNICEF, WHO and the humanitarian system; and a more joined-up approach..."
    Click here to read the full editorial and to comment within the Comments section. (Watch for the discussion to come within The CI's Development Groups network!)

     
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INTRODUCING YOU TO...
Essential Resources - Polio Communication
We invite you to please take a look at The CI Polio Team's compilation of essential polio communication resources. This is the result of our own initial, though collaborative and considered, process, but one that we recognise and hope will be improved substantially with more input. Please send us your reflections on the choices and your own suggestions for essential documents. Just contact vaccines@comminit.com

In addition to the Opinion section, which includes the content above, the Essentials offerings include:

  • * Technical - The communicator on the ground needs quick access to core technical documents published by organisations at the centre of the polio eradication effort. Covering a range of central activities for the programme, such documents include: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for responding to outbreaks; National Emergency Action Plans (NEAPs), which lay out each endemic country response in detail; independent monitoring reports from technical review groups; select standard forms and templates; and strategies for improving routine immunisation. To that end, each of the 5 topic areas on this page links you to a list of 3 or 4 key documents; also provided is a list for further reading.


  • * Tools and Guides - Implementing successful communication strategies is partially an art involving considerable local knowledge and creativity embedded in local meaning and reality. It is also founded on many years of core practise and implementation experience. This series of essential documents links you to tools and guides that capture that practise and experience with practical advice for designing, implementing, and monitoring a successful strategic communication programme across such areas as: developing an overall evidence-informed communication strategy; implementing each step of a social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) intervention such as formative research, materials development, audience identification, message development, media selection, monitoring and evaluation, etc.; determining and designing appropriate approaches in key areas such as social mobilisation and advocacy; utilising information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media; and working with Social and Behaviour Change and Social Determinants of Health models.
  • * Theory - This section offers resources designed to help communicators choose among a variety of theories that inform social and individual behaviour change as they plan, implement, and evaluate programmes. The resources have been selected to provide insight into how change in the behaviours of individuals and communities can be influenced, and how different theories can be applied depending on the objectives of particular programmes.
  • * Lessons - The GPEI and national polio programmes in polio-endemic countries have been documenting and recording lessons learned in order to improve programming and to support countries who may face polio outbreaks (or other communicable disease outbreaks) in the future. This section offers a selection of documents that both provide an overview of lessons learned across the GPEI and highlight communication lessons in specific topic areas that have proven to be central to the success of polio initiatives:


  • * Transition - As the GPEI moves closer to its goal, those involved are working to document the accumulated knowledge, lessons, capacities, and infrastructure to ensure that as much as possible is retained or repurposed to address other health goals and priorities. This transition planning is meant both to protect a polio-free world and to ensure that investments in polio eradication will contribute to other health goals. This section offers core resources for those engaged in transition efforts, with a focus on the central role of communication.


We look forward to your reflections on the choices and your own suggestions for essential documents. Simply email them to vaccines@comminit.com

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PLEASE TAKE OUR SURVEY

ENQUIRY: Your priorities, opportunities and challenges!

What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! In 2017, we will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.

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

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario,Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI),
Heartlines, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, PAHO,The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS, UNICEF,Universidad de los Andes, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation


The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.


Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za


Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com
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The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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