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Voices from the Ground

From Panos London, this blog follows the lives of five people working and living in developing countries, tracking their experiences in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Communication Strategies: 

Voices from the Ground, December 1 2010 is an online platform for recording the challenges, frustrations, and successes of people affected first-hand by the impacts of the MDGs. Their experiences are recorded by Panos London local journalists in those countries who tell those experiences as first person. The bloggers' stories are told as they happen and feature people from around the world:

  • Northeast India: Takhelchangbam Ambravati (known as Ambra) is a grassroots volunteer with a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) near Imphal, the capital of the northeastern state of Manipur. She visits local women to collect information about human rights violations, domestic violence, and trafficking.
  • Pakistan: Zubaida Noor is working with women in a small village in Khyber Putkunkwa, previously known as North-West Frontier Province, who lost their homes in the recent floods. Her NGO, the Noor Foundation, focuses on women's education, health, and emancipation.
  • Jamaica: Dr Tracy Evans-Gilbert is head of the paediatric HIV programme at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Montego Bay's main public hospital. Part of her job is to trace HIV-infected children who are not receiving treatment and babies with unknown status born to HIV-infected women.
  • Mali: As a housewife in the village of Tamala in the south of Mali, Sali Samaké has to fetch water every day to do the cooking and washing for her family. She is also one of thousands of small farmers trained by the Malian government to monitor rainfall.
  • Brazil: Dagmar Rivieri Garroux, known as Tia Dag (Auntie Dag), runs Casa do Zezinho, a school in one of south Sao Paulo's favelas. By offering social, cultural, and artistic activities for children, Tia Dag and the teachers aim to prevent them from joining Sao Paulo's criminal gangs.
Development Issues: 

Children, Economic Development, Education, Gender Equity, Maternal Health, HIV/AIDS, Health, Environment.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Email from Tia Jeewa to The Communication Initiative on October 15 2010; and Voices from the Ground blog, December 1 2010. Image credit: Sanjit Das / Panos Pictures

Research Makes the News: Strengthening Media Engagement with Research to Influence Policy

Author: 
Joanne Carpenter
Ingrid Yngstrom
Publication Date
March 1, 2010
Affiliation: 

Panos London

This document from Panos London, funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), begins from the premise that: "If knowledge created by researchers is shared and debated publicly, it is more likely to be adopted by policymakers and practitioners." It assumes the stance that "media have the capacity to speak to policymakers, civil society, and the general public, and therefore have an important role to play in keeping debate and awareness of particular issues in the public domain.

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Email from Christoph Dietz to The Communication Initiative on July 30 2010. Image source: Trygve Bølstad - Panos Pictures

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The Ashe Company: Edutainment Initiative

The Ashe Company (formerly The Ashe Performing Arts Company) has developed a social and behaviour change communication methodology designed to empower Jamaican youth to make their own decisions about living a healthy lifestyle and creating a healthy environment within their communities.

Communication Strategies: 

Ashe's model is culture-based, coming from the African tradition of using the arts as a developmental tool to stimulate youth from the entry point of the expressions they are already engaged in, such as: dance, drama, music, sports, and storytelling. Ashe uses these expressions to further the mission of meaningful participation and interaction in workshops and performing arts sessions/programmes that combine recreation and skills-building. The Ashe methodology has 3 components:

  1. The Multi-layered Approach - Ashe sees youth at the focal point of a cascade of concentric circles, with parents, teachers, and community leaders forming the expanding circles around them. What this means is that everybody has the same vision and is sending the same message to the youth. The youth themselves are also involved and are part of the process of the healthy development of their own lifestyles and communities.
  2. EIC Edutainment Model: E = Excitement. Participants are excited by participation in edutainment musical theatre performances; incentives (to travel and perform); music videos; and, in general, learning through use of culture and the arts. I = Involvement. Participants are involved by being part of the interactive learning sessions, whether during a one-day workshop or over an extended period. The approach is participatory. The involvement process includes: brainstorming; group discussions; role-playing; rap sessions; research; and sporting and performing arts classes. The idea is that the more involved they are, the more clearly they feel the impact of experience and explore their own integrity, principles, and values. Solutions are discovered together. C = Commitment. Commitment takes place when youth are empowered to make choices and decisions and they do so in relation to social issues that are dealt with in the programme (e.g., HIV/AIDS - they choose to abstain, reclaim their virginity, protect themselves, etc.) The youth make commitments not just for personal health and lifestyle but also for their families, the community, the country, and the world.
  3. Transformational Model - This is based on the image of people moving from the stage of 'caterpillar' to that of a 'butterfly.' It is about letting go of the old way of being and creating a new way that is healthy and beneficial for all. There are 3 basic stages: i) Recognition (participants come to an awareness of their own spiritual values and principles and look at issues of integrity. They also come to align themselves with a higher concept of life and way of being). ii) Die to the Old (participants give up negative stereotypes about themselves and others through forgiveness and other techniques). iii) Be Born Anew (participants fulfill the mandate that Ashe has as its mission - 'to live a life of integrity and fulfillment, doing what they love and loving what they do.'

 

 

For example, "Curfew for Schools" is an edutainment theatre production, enhanced by one-on-one discussions, that addresses the rights of young people; their civic responsibilities in the fight against corruption, crime, and violence; and ways to effectively engage them in problem solving techniques and anger management skills. The musical portrays a Jamaican community in a state of siege as a result of a curfew placed to control an eruption of violence. In the face of longstanding social disorder, members of the community struggle to create peace and find balance, using all the means at their disposal.

 

As part of an effort to empower students in 30 high schools to develop positive alternatives to anger and violence using the performing arts, the company journeyed (January 6-9 2010) to the island of St. Eustatius via St Maarten, all clad in brightly coloured red or blue Ashe/edutainment t-shirts. The 16 member crew, selected from the company comprised of past and present members, brought across key messages through singing, dancing, and acting - stressing to students and parents alike the importance of making safe choices, abstaining, positive parenting, etc.

 

Specifically, the edutainment package included, first, "Parenting Vibes in a World of Sexuality". Parents came out to see the production, which focuses on using positive parenting tools (communication, discipline, knowledge) instead of negative parenting tools (preaching, mixed messages, corporal punishment). After the production, Ashe's Executive Artistic Director launched a discussion with the parents about what the musical portrayed. Some of the parents even admitted that they were guilty of practicing some of the negative parenting tools. The next show was a back-to-back performance of "Safe Stupid or What!", a talk-show-like musical about making safe reproductive health choices. Ashe performed it twice to an audience of students: both a primary school audience and a group of older students (high school). With the latter group, there was a sense of prevalence of the issues portrayed, so the discussion following the performance was more colourful. "Safe, Stupid or What" formed part of the company's annual Season of Excellence, which opened in October 2010. Then, it was taken to schools as a part of an intervention which also included several follow-up visits and one-on-one sessions with students to discuss the various issues in the musical and to help students use song, dance, and drama to develop and portray messages relevant to them and their peers on the issues of reproductive health and sexuality, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS.

Development Issues: 

Youth, Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, Governance.

Key Points: 

Ashe is a Yoruba word used in Western Africa spirituality that means "the strength, the power and the God within." Launched in 1993, Ashe is a non-governmental professional edutainment and theatre arts company that is committed to the preservation and renewal of Jamaican and Afro-Caribbean culture. The Ashe Company is the umbrella organisation for:

  • The Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble, which consists of a full-time cast of professional artists who provide entertainment and edutainment presentation services, locally and around the world. Their work entails self-development and transformation, advanced training in the performing arts, creation and performance of edutainment musicals and products, choreography, scriptwriting, and teaching and project implementation at The Ashe Academy and The Ashe Edutainment Institute.
  • The Ashe Academy, which offers training in singing, dancing, acting, and drumming to new generations of performers and artistes. Ultimately, The Academy will take the form of a private secondary educational institution, preparing students for regional and international examinations, as well as theatre arts and edutainment education, utilising Ashe's EIC methodology in the classroom.
  • The Ashe Edutainment Institute, which provides certified edutainment training, consultancy, project management, implementation, and social intervention training services. The Institute operates under the principles of Ashe's edutainment methodology, dubbed the EIC methodology.
Contact Information: 
See video
Source: 

Emails from Conroy B. Wilson to Soul Beat Africa and The Communication Initiative on March 10 2010 and July 22 2010, respectively; Ashe Performing Arts Company website, April 6 2010; and email from Jomain McKenzie to The Communication Initiative on October 22 2012.

The Evaluation of Guidance Counselor Training for Vibes

Publication Date
May 12, 2005

Carried out by Family Health International (FHI) and Hope Enterprises, Inc., this evaluation explores the "Vibes" methodology as introduced in September 2001 to 108 guidance counsellors w

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Email from Conroy B. Wilson to Soul Beat Africa on March 10 2010; and Ashe Performing Arts Company website and FHI website, both accessed April 6 2010.

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Qualitative Assessment of Outta Road, an Entertainment-Education Radio Soap Opera for Jamaican Adolescents

Author: 
Scott Connolly
Katie Elmore
Wendi Stein
Publication Date
August 1, 2008
Affiliation: 

Population Media Center (PMC)

Source: 

PMC website, accessed September 23 2009.

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Outta Road

Communication Strategies: 

Outta Road is the story of Jamaican teens and young adults from different social strata whose lives are interconnected. The drama is designed for 10-19 year olds across Jamaica, who through identification with transitional characters could vicariously experience the repercussions of their life choices. The social ills identified through nationwide formative research conducted by PMC in January 2006 helped guide the development of characters and plot lines. The characters grapple with conflicts ranging from love, friendship, peer pressure, violence, sex, drugs, HIV/AIDS, and more. Interspersed amongst dramatic conflicts and natural dialogue was popular reggae music. Outta Road also used epilogues to provide listeners with more information about the topics addressed and issues raised, such as where to access adolescent-friendly centres offering services like substance abuse counselling, HIV testing and contraception, and dispute resolution.

 

The messages in Outta Road, some episodes of which may be listened to online, were reinforced by flyers, pamphlets, handbooks, and good parenting calendars distributed by JA-STYLE to encourage further discussion among listeners. This supplemental information, what PMC refers to as the Whole Society Strategy, helped to reinforce lessons learned through the programme and provided another platform for discussion. Also, listening groups were established in schools as a part of the guidance curriculum. Youth listened to the programmes in a classroom setting and were also given CDs to bring home to listen to and share with their friends. Guidance counsellors used the programme as a stimulus for discussion about the difficult and highly sensitive issues addressed in Outta Road.

Development Issues: 

Youth, HIV/AIDS, Relationships, Substance Abuse.

Key Points: 

A quantitative evaluation conducted at the conclusion of the programme found that:

  • 31% of the adolescents surveyed had heard of Outta Road.
  • 32% of listeners had discussed the Outta Road drama with friends.
  • 56% of listeners were motivated by Outta Road to seek healthy lifestyles services (e.g., those related to reproductive health, substance abuse, parenting, parent-child relationships, sexuality, and conflict resolution).

 

In April 2008, PMC also conducted a qualitative assessment of Outta Road; click here to access that report in PDF format.

Partner Text: 

PMC, URC, and JA-STYLE.

See video
Source: 

Outta Road description [PDF], PMC, August 2008.

Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean: Volume 1 - Regional Trends and Analysis; Volume 2 - Country Reports

Publication Date
January 1, 2009

This Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean: Volume 1 - Regional Trends and Analysis; Volume 2 - Country Reports comprises 16 country reports, primarily Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), that provide an overview of the current activities and developments related to information and communication technology (ICT) use in education in each country.

Source: 

infoDev website on March 3 2009.

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Making Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanisms Work through Full Engagement of Civil Society

Subtitle: 
On-the-Ground Research in Argentina, Cambodia, Cameroon, India, Jamaica, Romania, and Uganda
Publication Date
October 1, 2008

This International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) report looks at the functioning of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in seven countries - Argentina, Cambodia, Cameroon, India, Jamaica, Romania, and Uganda - with a particular focus on civil society (CS) engagement in CCMs. Research teams sought to understand whether and how CS has had meaningful involvement in the design and monitoring of Global Fund-supported programming, and, ultimately, how CS can be most effective in improving delivery of Global Fund-supported services.

Source: 

Email from Pankaj Anand to The Communication Initiative on May 27 2010.

Caring and Learning Together: A Cross-National Study on the Integration of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) within Education

Author: 
Yoshie Kaga
John Bennett
Peter Moss
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Affiliation: 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

This United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) study offers an assessment of the policy of integrating the responsibility for early childhood care and education (ECC

Source: 

Zunia website, July 22 2010.

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The Communication Initiative Network and Partnership

Covers all major development issues. Convenes the communication/media development, social/behavioural change community with a social network of 85,000 - please join. . When registered you can search the network to identify relevant support and connections.. Knowledge sharing - 35,000 summaries, 1 million users pa. Critical peer review - ratings, comments, dialogue. Advocacy for this field. Strategic direction/funding by 20 Partners. To discuss partnership please contact Warren

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How to hunt a virus: 5 ways polio is helping fight Ebola

Sherine Guirguis, Senior Communications Manager for UNICEF’s Global Polio Programme reflects on her recent trip to Sierra Leone to support UNICEF's Ebola efforts.

Featured

"[I]t has been shown that a supportive approach, where supervisors and health workers work together to solve problems and improve performance, delivers improved results for the immunization programme."

"The ease with which information can be disseminated now means that negative comments about vaccines can go 'viral' on the internet without balanced professional input. As a result, the media have found rich pickings in vaccine safety issues.

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Research and Strategy

"The development of an effective behavior change communication strategy requires an indepth understanding of the many stakeholder viewpoints, perceptions, and norms. There is considerable evidence that focused messages to inform parents about where and when to go for complete immunization is the most important and effective communication...

"Media and social media can create a negative or positive vaccine sentiment and can provide a platform for lobbies and key opinion leaders to influence others....Community leaders and influencers, including religious leaders in some settings, celebrities in others, can all have a significant influence on vaccine acceptance or hesitancy."...

"[R]egardless of the setting and causes of vaccine hesitancy, poor communication needs to be addressed generally, in addition to developing targeted communication to address hesitancy and improve vaccine uptake."

This is one of the lessons that emerged from a November 2011 meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (...

"[S]pecific communication challenges make it difficult for the public to perceive the risks of polio among other priorities, and hinder adequate support from governments, social and religious institutions, the media, community leaders and other stakeholders."

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Experiences

Dhibcaha Nolosha (Drops for Life) is a radio show that aims to improve understanding about polio and challenge negative attitudes towards vaccination. Created in response to a polio outbreak in Somalia that started in May 2013 (a country with no outbreaks in the previous 6 years), the 15-minute magazine show is broadcast on the BBC...

"Hundreds of Pakistani labourers have been shown a short film that hopes to show them the importance of polio vaccinations."

Image Nation Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites (UAE), developed a film- and radio-based campaign running from June to September 2014 in an effort to create strong awareness about polio and polio vaccination...

"Child health records help ensure every child receives the vaccines they need to live a healthy and productive life. However, many health records are lost or destroyed, not accurately maintained, or are simply too confusing to read."

"[Y]outh's productive engagement in the polio/RI programme will provide it with a source of continued dynamism and productive energy. This is especially so as the Polio Eradication programme is transcending into a crucial phase, as for over three years no wild polio transmission is reported in the country (India), whereas the associated '...

"Public radio show games conducted in local languages for the communities by the communities is the approach likely to promote lasting change and to support communication activities in immunization and polio eradication. Such programmes increase participation, community ownership..." - Bruno Maes, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)...

"On the morning of 8 November, scores of Syrian refugee children at the Omariya informal settlement in east Lebanon held a joyful demonstration amongst the tents in their camp. Accompanied by social worker from the Lebanese NGO [non-governmental organisation] Beyond, they held colourful placards with the word 'polio' in Arabic crossed out,...

As carried out in Nigeria, from early 2007 to mid-2009, IMMUNIZATIONbasics (IMMbasics) worked with government agencies at all levels (Federal, State, and Local Government Area (LGA) levels) and international partners in Bauchi and Sokoto states, with a focus on developing the human and organisational capacity needed to strengthen delivery of...

The NSEWA Project (which is a contraction of North-South-East-West Africa) is working to close the gap between health services and road safety through specially designed driver safety training and health-related programmes directed at the Road Freight Industry. Led by North Star Alliance and Fleet Forum, the NSEWA training and certificate...

The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication and their partners in Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are working to intensify cross border social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) interventions with a particular focus on high risk groups such as sexworkers, truckers, and migrant populations. The project involves...

Media's pH (Public Health) Value

This initiative, launched in India by Newslaundry in partnership with Who’s There? Yes (WTY), a global journalism and health mentoring initiative of Chitra Subramaniam Duella and Franklin Apfel, is intended to inspire public debate in India on health issues starting with tobacco control. It was timed for debate during the lead up to the Delhi...

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Publications

"Clearly, this partnership between countries and sharing of expertise and know-how can go a long way to eradicating polio globally."

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Communication Reviews

"Public awareness was the key for the success we had - in the schools, the mosques - but now keeping polio-free is more important than becoming polio-free." - Governor of Kandahar, Afghanistan

"I have had the very real privilege of being involved in the Global Polio Eradication initiative (GPEI) for the past 7 or 8 years. My vantage point has been somewhat unique as someone who sits outside the main implementing organisations but has nevertheless had an opportunity to see the programme close up."

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Community Participation

"The development of an effective behavior change communication strategy requires an indepth understanding of the many stakeholder viewpoints, perceptions, and norms. There is considerable evidence that focused messages to inform parents about where and when to go for complete immunization is the most important and effective communication...

Author: Nikhil Patil, March 9 2015 - Non-compliance to polio immunization is a major challenge to effectively reaching 100% coverage of the vaccine across Nigeria and eliminate polio transmission. One solution to address non-compliance has been the introduction of health camps, mobile outreach services that provide basic health services,...

The aim of this guide is to help health workers use their own data to identify problems and causes of low immunisation coverage and to plan solutions to increase immunisation coverage. Jointly produced by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) of the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Vaccines and Biologicals and the United...

Author: Anne McArthur, March 4 2015 - I’ve been working on immunization programs for the past 14 years, including seven years as Immunization Advisor to the Partnership for Reviving Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria/Maternal Neonatal and Child Health Initiative (PRRINN-MNCH), a DFID [Department for International Development]-Norwegian...

"[S]pecific communication challenges make it difficult for the public to perceive the risks of polio among other priorities, and hinder adequate support from governments, social and religious institutions, the media, community leaders and other stakeholders."

From the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan, this report narrates the epidemiological situation with regard to polio, the status of supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs), acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance, and communication activities implemented in 2013 and planned for 2014.

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Advocacy

"Popular demand for and acceptance of these new vaccines (primarily pentavalent, pneumococcal conjugate, and rotavirus vaccines) was relatively high due to knowledge and fear of the target diseases for the new vaccines and to successful communication activities."

"[S]pecific communication challenges make it difficult for the public to perceive the risks of polio among other priorities, and hinder adequate support from governments, social and religious institutions, the media, community leaders and other stakeholders."

This webpage from the Council on Foreign Relations serves as a resource for communication practitioners and others seeking to understand - and access resources about - the global effort to eradicate polio. Clicking on each of the subheadings in the background brings the reader to information and multiple URLs leading to further data - for...

"Following the attacks on polio workers in December 2012 and in 2013, the overall aim of the communications programme has shifted towards positioning polio vaccination so that community, political and religious leaders view OPV as an essential trusted commodity."

From the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan, this report narrates the epidemiological situation with regard to polio, the status of supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs), acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance, and communication activities implemented in 2013 and planned for 2014.

"...Polio program in Afghanistan has identified 6 key intervention areas that will be essential to assure the implementation of strategies [including]:...Communication directed to increased community demand and ownership..."

"To address anti-polio sentiments and violence targeting polio workers early in 2013, the program intensified social and community mobilization activities providing opportunities for community leaders to engage in the response and become advocates for the program's success."

From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to boost vaccination coverage in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. It builds on India's success in stopping polio transmission and outlines a range of new strategies and initiatives to better support...

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Nigeria

Author: Nikhil Patil, March 9 2015 - Non-compliance to polio immunization is a major challenge to effectively reaching 100% coverage of the vaccine across Nigeria and eliminate polio transmission. One solution to address non-compliance has been the introduction of health camps, mobile outreach services that provide basic health services,...

Author: Anne McArthur, March 4 2015 - I’ve been working on immunization programs for the past 14 years, including seven years as Immunization Advisor to the Partnership for Reviving Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria/Maternal Neonatal and Child Health Initiative (PRRINN-MNCH), a DFID [Department for International Development]-Norwegian...

This document reports on preliminary findings from polls conducted as part of a global research initiative to understand and respond to parents' views and experiences receiving polio vaccine. As the researchers - who hail from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) as part of a collaboration between the Harvard Opinion Research Program (...

This webpage from the Council on Foreign Relations serves as a resource for communication practitioners and others seeking to understand - and access resources about - the global effort to eradicate polio. Clicking on each of the subheadings in the background brings the reader to information and multiple URLs leading to further data - for...

"To address anti-polio sentiments and violence targeting polio workers early in 2013, the program intensified social and community mobilization activities providing opportunities for community leaders to engage in the response and become advocates for the program's success."

From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to boost vaccination coverage in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. It builds on India's success in stopping polio transmission and outlines a range of new strategies and initiatives to better support...

Author: Sherine Guirguis, January 2 2015 - I'm often asked how the largest-ever public health movement - to end polio - has boosted the world’s ability to fight other deadly infectious diseases.

"The traditional leaders were the most successful in positively influencing the decision to vaccinate."

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Pakistan

This document reports on preliminary findings from polls conducted as part of a global research initiative to understand and respond to parents' views and experiences receiving polio vaccine. As the researchers - who hail from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) as part of a collaboration between the Harvard Opinion Research Program (...

This webpage from the Council on Foreign Relations serves as a resource for communication practitioners and others seeking to understand - and access resources about - the global effort to eradicate polio. Clicking on each of the subheadings in the background brings the reader to information and multiple URLs leading to further data - for...

"Following the attacks on polio workers in December 2012 and in 2013, the overall aim of the communications programme has shifted towards positioning polio vaccination so that community, political and religious leaders view OPV as an essential trusted commodity."

From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to boost vaccination coverage in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. It builds on India's success in stopping polio transmission and outlines a range of new strategies and initiatives to better support...

"It is clear that the level of political commitment, the extent of engagement of regional and local leaders, the quality of public health leadership and management, and the involvement of civil society are totally inadequate. Pakistan puts the entire global goal in jeopardy."

"What are some of the communication challenges in engaging people on polio immunization issues?"

This is one of the questions asked in this interview of Thomas Abraham, MA, who is affiliated with the Journalism and Media Studies Center (JMSC) at The University of Hong Kong and who is a consultant for the World Health...

Author: Heidi J Larson, PhD, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Dept. Global Health, University of Washington, September 5 2014 - The myriad of challenges contributing to the persisting spread of Ebola in West Africa - the biggest Ebola outbreak since the viral haemorrhagic fever was discovered in 1976 - echo some of the...

"The Technical Advisory Group on Polio Eradication for Pakistan (TAG) conducted a meeting on 2-3 June 2014, during a time when the Pakistan programme is at a 'critical crossroads'....In the four months preceding the meeting, 86% of global polio cases were in Pakistan."

From the World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office...

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Afghanistan

From the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan, this report narrates the epidemiological situation with regard to polio, the status of supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs), acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance, and communication activities implemented in 2013 and planned for 2014.

"...Polio program in Afghanistan has identified 6 key intervention areas that will be essential to assure the implementation of strategies [including]:...Communication directed to increased community demand and ownership..."

From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to boost vaccination coverage in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. It builds on India's success in stopping polio transmission and outlines a range of new strategies and initiatives to better support...

"It is clear that the level of political commitment, the extent of engagement of regional and local leaders, the quality of public health leadership and management, and the involvement of civil society are totally inadequate. Pakistan puts the entire global goal in jeopardy."

"As the newly elected government establishes itself, it is critical that the national commitment to achieving polio eradication is maintained at the highest level."

"Eradicating polio requires that millions of parents allow their children to be given dose after dose of polio vaccine. Properly engaging them is key to success."

The above insight is one of those shared in the ninth report following from the tenth meeting of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio...

"Interpreting resistance to vaccination as essentially religio-cultural marginalises an understanding of resistance as the rational and strategic response by households and communities to systematic conditions of inequity and exclusion."

Author, Seye Abimbola, orignally posted October 11 2013, cross-posted March 31 2014:    

"Polio eradication will only be achieved with stronger health systems and bottom-up community engagement, which is likely to require more time and more investment than is currently available in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan because of their political fragility."

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India

"Popular demand for and acceptance of these new vaccines (primarily pentavalent, pneumococcal conjugate, and rotavirus vaccines) was relatively high due to knowledge and fear of the target diseases for the new vaccines and to successful communication activities."

From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Global Polio Emergency Action Plan (EAP) aims to boost vaccination coverage in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the 3 remaining polio-endemic countries. It builds on India's success in stopping polio transmission and outlines a range of new strategies and initiatives to better support...

This paper describes a cross-sectional study conducted to assess the impact of social mobilisation on families in Aligarh, India who are resistant to giving polio drops to their children. Considering that there is a history of Muslim resistance to the oral polio vaccine (OPV) due to mistrust and rumour, it was deemed significant that the...

"What are some of the communication challenges in engaging people on polio immunization issues?"

This is one of the questions asked in this interview of Thomas Abraham, MA, who is affiliated with the Journalism and Media Studies Center (JMSC) at The University of Hong Kong and who is a consultant for the World Health...

"The usefulness of household visitation as a strategy to improving coverage of routine polio vaccination, one of the four pillars of the global polio eradication strategy, has not been documented previously."

Recognising that strengthening routine immunisation (RI) is one of the 4 prongs of the Global Polio Eradication...

"This report shows how, on a daily basis, eHealth innovations are improving access to care and assisting women to take control of their own health...[T]hrough the use of ICTs, health-care professionals and the women and children they care for, are better able to share important health information as well as communicate amongst themselves...

"The introduction of any new vaccine into routine vaccination programs requires a complex set of activities including: mobilization and leverage of political will and country leadership; advocacy and communications; advanced planning...; broad engagement of stakeholders...; alignment of staff and resources; and, allocation of sufficient and...

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