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Communication for Development

© UNICEF/BANA2014-00787/Mawa
A cultural group raises community awareness on the importance of antenatal care (ANC) through folk songs at Hiroshima Village, Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar on 5 March 2014.

Addressing harmful social norms and household behaviours that stand in the way of children’s survival and development is a priority for UNICEF.

UNICEF works on “UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL” of communities for improved child wellbeing through behaviour and social change communication.

Action

Since January 2012, the Government of  Bangladesh-UNICEF ‘Engaging Communities for Social and Behaviour Change’ programme has employed a systematic, evidence-informed mix of approaches to support deprived community members practice key life-saving care and protective behaviours, raise their demand for quality social services and promote social change.

C4D promotes the understanding and practice of:

  • Hand-washing of both hands with soap at critical times;
  • Registration of births within 45 days of delivery with a certificate;
  • Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding  up to six months, and complementary feeding afterwards;
  • At least four ante-natal visits during pregnancy and daily intake of iron-folic acid tablets; and
  • Not marrying children less than 18 years of age.

© UNICEF/BANA2014-01011/Haque/Drik
(Right) Dilruba,a community worker makes a routine household visit to raise awareness about health and nutrition issues related to pregnant women and children in Lalmohan, Bhola, on 19 March 2014.

C4D also increases community awareness in the following areas:

  • Taking under-five-year-old children with fast breathing and fever to the hospital immediately (Acute Respiratory Infection/Pneumonia);
  • Protecting young children from injury and harm within and outside the home, especially from drowning;
  • Preventing HIV infection by abstaining from sex before marriage, being faithful to one partner, using condoms and not using drugs; and
  • Discouraging  the physical abuse of children at home or in school.

The components of the behaviour and social change strategy are as follows:

Partnership for social change supporting the set-up of a multi-sectorial social norm change forum at national level, and social norm change chapters at district and upazila (sub-district) levels, to create opportunities for dialogue, networking and coordination.

Mass and folk media reaching over 80 million people directly with messages in entertaining formats to save lives, improve child and maternal care and protection of adolescents.

Community engagement which includes arranging regular and systematic face-to-face counselling through courtyard and tea-stall meetings, peer group and community dialogues on issues around harmful social practices and norms. Furthermore, the establishment and strengthening of Ward Development Committees is being supported, towards local ownership, leadership and accountability to end harmful social norms and practices for children in their communities.

Child-to-child and child-to-community activities to inculcate in children appropriate life-saving behaviours like hand-washing from an early age and provide them with knowledge and skills to be agents of change in their communities. This includes ‘Meena’ entertainment education in schools and community-oriented interactive popular theatre for adolescents.

Strengthening government systems and capacity to plan, implement, monitor and report on the contribution of C4D approaches to remove bottlenecks for ensuring effective coverage of services, reductions in disease and abuse and exploitation of children.

Download C4D Brochure

Updated on 4 August 2014

 

 
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