Behaviour Change and Communication – Andhra Pradesh
Influencing, Changing and Developing behaviors
BCC is a critical input to meeting the objectives of GOI national flagship programmes and the U.N. MDGs through its focus on influencing, changing and developing human behaviours and social norms. It is also a key strategy in reaching out to excluded groups and ensuring their participation in programs.
Structural issues: BCC is envisaged to be an integral component of the state and district PIPs as laid clearly in all the NFPs but there are no institutional structure in place to support communication planning and implementation except in health and water and sanitation sector.
Capacities: Lack of conceptual and operational understanding of BCC program amongst decision makers both at state and district level. Planning for BCC at the state and district does not include the practice of setting communication objectives; planning is mostly activity based and dependant on the budget considerations/ priorities as communicated by top leadership.
Operational issues: The current socio political structure of village does not allow prioritizing social messages. Neither there is any recognition or financial incentives, if the social indicators are attained.Sub district level review meetings are department based and not issue base. Communication inputs are not prioritized to attain development outcomes
Key strategies, action and impact:
BCC cell was established under the aegis of district administration, Medak, only second in India after Purulia district, where the district administration acknowledged the importance of BCC in meeting the developmental outcomes. The mandate of the cell is two fold:
a) Institutional mechanism within the district for inter-department collaboration and convergence of efforts and to bring more rationale and effective approaches to the planning, implementation and monitoring of communication activities
b) Intensify the implementation of UNICEF-supported communication activities in the integrated districts around the 4 key behaviours that will have the greatest impact on accelerating progress for the MDGs
Capacity building: A resource team of 90 master trainers was created within the social welfare departments to facilitate training programs for front line functionaries on IPC skills. Enhanced IPC skills of 6718 grassroot functionaries from 4 departments and 2448 village volunteers to act as social mobilizers and engage with families to promote 4 key behaviors.
Officials from 5 key departments have been sensitized resulting into their enhanced understanding about mandate of BCC cell, their ability to state key concepts in strategic communication for Behavioral change and agreement to support trained communicators through their existing infrastructure.
Social Mobilization: 6718 grassroot functionaries (WHVs 1546; SHGs- 3148; Youths and Preraks – 1661; ANMs and AWWs- 831) from 1066 villages and 46 mandals have enhanced interpersonal communication skills to conduct community dialogue, mobilize families and communities around the 4 key behaviors, resulting into greater knowledge & improved skills amongst families and care givers. 2649 trained communicators participated in 72 interactive events, organized in 28 mandals, resulting into village level communication plan in 653 villages in Medak district. Village contact drives and sensitization programs conducted through use of local folk media in 817 villages resulting into greater knowledge and skills around the 4 key behaviors
Knowledge management: 15 mandal coordinators 10 master trainers and 5 BCC cell representatives have capacities to generate qualitative monitoring data and observe, analyze and document outputs and outcomes. Till now 176 such stories have been collected at the district level. Currently a monitoring tool is being developed using social map to track progress at the village level.
• Utilize current staffing structure and resources of the various line departments in facilitating implementation and monitoring of BCC interventions in the villages
• Joint planning tracking of indicators through convergence of all line departments under the umbrella of BCC cell.