Behavioral Change Communication (BCC) refers to a strategic approach aimed at influencing and promoting positive changes in the behavior, attitudes, and practices of individuals, communities, or target groups affected by a crisis, disaster, or emergency situation. The goal of BCC is to address specific issues, such as health, hygiene, nutrition, safety, or social issues, by effectively communicating information and messages that encourage people to adopt safer, healthier, and more beneficial behaviors. It is a crucial component of public health and humanitarian responses.
GoalPrime Organization Nigeria (GPON) aligns with the international best practices proffered by the United Nations (UN). GPON employs BCC approach as part of its efforts to promote positive changes in behavior, attitudes, and practices among affected populations. In 2022, GPON’s Media and Advocacy Department documented over 250 activity pictures and produced over 20 donor/partner support videos. It also produced 3 short films on Child Labor, International women's Day, and Female Genital Mutilation Awareness. These communication approaches had enabled positive behavioral changes in GPON’s intervention across the northeast. Here are some examples of GPON's BCC approaches in various contexts:
Public Health and Disease Prevention. GPON, particularly with its partner such as the World Health Organization (WHO), frequently uses BCC in health campaigns. For instance, GPON have used BCC to communicate the importance of safe burial practices, handwashing, and early reporting of symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus in several IDP camps in the northeast of Nigeria. For instance, in 2022, to enhance effective collection and disposal of Solid waste within the IDP camps and host communities, GPON conducted two hundred and eight (208) general environmental clean-up campaigns. GPON conducted theses trainings 69 times in Mafa, 58 times in Kala Balge, 46 times in Geidam and 35 times in Yola South LGAs of Brono, Adamawa and Yola states respectively through the active community hygiene promoters and WASHCOM mobilizing community members for participation.
Nutrition and Food Security. Due to the insurgency in the northeast of Nigeria millions of people faced food shortages and scarcity leading to regions facing food insecurity and malnutrition. GPON, in collaboration with donor agencies deployed BCC to educate communities about nutrition, proper food preparation, and the importance of diverse diets. Our means of communication were through local media, community workshops, and educational materials amongst others.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). GPON, use BCC to promote good hygiene practices in areas with limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities. For instance, GPON BCC campaigns focuses on handwashing with soap, safe water storage, and the construction and maintenance of latrines in refugee camps or disaster-affected areas.
Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. In conflict-affected of the Nigeria’s northeast, GPON have been promoting behavior change related to conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Our messages encourage dialogue, reconciliation, and non-violent conflict resolution strategies to reduce tensions and promote peace. For instance, GPON conducted conflict resolution and peacebuilding education programmes in collaboration with the State Agency for Mass Education (SAME) which lasted for lasted for 6 months. The 282 participants were later mainstreamed into formal schools in Kala-Balge and Mafa L.G.A of Brono State.
Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. GPON's BCC efforts also extend to gender-related issues, such as promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. GPON BCC campaigns had addressed topics like women's rights, access to education, and economic opportunities for women and girls. For instance, in the months of February and March 2022, an average of 157 younger adolescent girls, and 116.5 older adolescent girls were engaged in life skill training by GPON. Equally, GPON conducted gender equality talks and campaigns such as child marriage, myths about child marriage, harmful effects of child marriage, key steps in deciding, if, when and who to marry, Gender and conflict, assertive communication, sexual health and reproductive health, right to consent, preventing STI’s, teenage pregnancy, personal hygiene, etc.
Human Rights and Protection. In areas with human rights abuses and protection concerns, GPON have used BCC to raise awareness about individuals' rights and the importance of reporting violations. GPON followed the footstep of some of her partners such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to inform refugees and internally displaced people about their rights and options for protection. GPON mandate making the lives of vulnerable people better in Nations is key in advancing the right of people, supporting development and building resilience in conflict affected people.
Emergency Preparedness and Response. GPON utilizes BCC in disaster-prone in our intervention states in Nigeria to educate numerous communities about emergency preparedness and response measures. This includes information about evacuation procedures, safe shelter, and first aid techniques.
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability. With a focus on sustainability, GPON use BCC to raise awareness about climate change and environmental conservation. GPON messages have encouraged sustainable practices, such as reducing plastic waste, conserving natural resources, and adopting clean energy technologies.Take Action
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