Communication for Development

UNICEF C4D employs a mix of community mobilization, behaviour and social change strategies

A group of children attending a cholera prevention session.
UNICEF Yemen/2019

The Challenge

In Yemen, Communication for Development seeks to share relevant, action-oriented information so that people in affected communities know what actions to take when facing a humanitarian crisis..

Timely, accurate information plays a critical rom in protecting the health and wellbeing of conflict-affected children and their families. Communication for Development response is crucial in supporting programme sections to engage communities for behaviour and social change for the adoption of positive family care practices, strengthen social accountability, shift social norms and enhance demand for and use of services especially among the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in Yemen.

The strong partnership with local organisations is key when engaging with communities to enhance on knowledge and skills on health, nutrition, child protection, education and hygiene practices.

In Yemen, Communication for Development (C4D) is working with governmental and civil society organizations on social and behavior change communication interventions, focusing on core essential family practices which includes high impact lifesaving practices as handwashing with soap at critical times, exclusive breastfeeding followed by age-appropriate complementary feeding, completion of immunization for children by the age of two years, safe motherhood and newborn care. The interventions also include building resilience among communities to respond to outbreaks such as Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/cholera, diphtheria, measles and others.

UNICEF C4D mobilizes community resource people as agent of change including religious leaders, teachers and local media, to engage communities through dialogue, house-to-house visits, group sessions and mass media interventions.

Female religious leaders conducting a cholera prevention session with populations living in high-risk areas in Sana'a.
UNICEF Yemen/2019/Mona Adel
Female religious leaders conducting a cholera prevention session with populations living in high-risk areas in Sana'a.

In 2018, UNICEF C4D reached more than 10 million people through community engagement activities during AWD/Cholera outbreak and through vaccination campaigns in Yemen.

The Solution

Thanks to an integrated approach and a close collaboration with local partners and communities, UNICEF achieved the following results in C4D response:

  • In 2018, C4D integrated emergency and outbreaks response reached more than 10 million people, including 200,000 marginalized people and internally displaced communities, through extensive community engagement activities in support of eight rounds of national and sub national vaccinations campaigns including polio, measles, diphtheria and Oral Cholera Vaccine.
  • C4D trained a total of 9,500 community volunteers, including 3,000 religious leaders, who were engaged in 23 governorates during various vaccination campaigns to generate demand for health services and promote key family practices, reaching more than 2.6 million people.
  • In collaboration with the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene section, about 300 Rapid Response Team members acquired skills in interpersonal communication strengthening early action for cholera prevention and response.
  • C4D mobilized 29 media outlets (20 public and private radio stations and 9 TV stations) engaging them in national public awareness campaigns to broadcast public service announcements, flashes and programs on cholera prevention and essential family care practices. The awareness messages were also disseminated through SMS and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp messaging.
Link to video on it's hosted site.
UNICEF Yemen/2019
UNICEF "Mother to Mother" clubs educate displaced mothers and children about cholera.