South Asia’s problems of poverty, illiteracy, poor health and nutrition, unhygienic habits, taboos, and harmful social customs require significant communication interventions to influence individuals and families to change their behaviours.
Programme communication seeks to inform and motivate specified groups of people to accept and use unfamiliar ideas and practices or to change harmful habits, lifestyles or ways of thinking. The aim is to influence positive behaviours that lead to improved health, nutrition, literacy rates, social services, income levels and family and community wellbeing.
UNICEF in Action
UNICEF has a long tradition in communication for development (C4D), and applies an array of communication approaches, ranging from policy advocacy, social, and community mobilization to interpersonal communication and media mobilization. The modern development paradigm advances results-oriented communication to support the Millennum Development Goals and requires greater use of different communication approaches and synergies among the various components of development programmes. Communication interventions are grounded in research and based on sound documentation, participatory approaches, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation. This paradigm places programme communication as a critical component in programme planning, funding and managing processes to shape behaviours and contribute to positive social change.
Effective programme communication or C4D will result in more children under five completing at least four rounds of immunization against preventable childhood illnesses like polio, measles, and vitamin A deficiency, as mothers understand the importance of immunization. Understanding the benefits of such practices, family members are more likely to practice proper hygiene and sanitation in their homes and communities; caregivers to use oral rehydration therapy to prevent diarrhoeal dehydration; mothers and food handlers to apply proper food selection, preparation and feeding practices. Effective communication will help parents to understand the importance to sending their daughters to school and ensuring that their children complete their elementary education, and communities to protect their children from abuse, violence and exploitation. Children and adolescents can be helped to acquire the life skills that will help them practice responsible behaviours, particularly to prevent HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
Regional Programme Communication C4D Training eDVDs
C4D eDVDs are now available