Support for Service Delivery Integration-Communications (SSDI-C)


The Support for Service Delivery Integration (SSDI)-Communication project was a five year (2011-2016) USAID-funded social and behavior change communication (SBCC) project that worked with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other stakeholders in Malawi to promote normative and behavior change in several health areas: maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH); family planning (FP); malaria; HIV and AIDS; nutrition; and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The project’s vision was that by the end of 2016, families in Malawi would be better able to advocate for their own health, practice positive health behaviors, including timely use of essential health package (EHP) services, and would be engaging with a responsive health care system. Coordinated SBCC systems would be in place within national, district and community level structures accompanied by broad stakeholder commitment, leveraged funding and sustained institutional leadership.

Activity Description

Implementation of project activities was guided by a research based SBCC strategy, which was developed in collaboration with the MOH and other key stakeholders in Malawi. The strategy was based on the social ecological framework, which posits that individual, household, social network, community and national factors affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and families by influencing directly or indirectly those individuals’ and families’ ability or propensity to act. SSDI-Communication used the life stages approach to segment key audiences and this enabled health communication to focus on what was most relevant to people at various points in their lives. Four key life stages were identified in the SBCC Strategy as follows: young married couples; parents of under five children; parents of older children; and adolescents.

The challenge with SSDI-Communication’s multiple health topics and audiences was how to ensure proper coordination of campaign activities amongst various partners and consistent harmonization of messages for the four life stages throughout the implementation period. To address this potential challenge, SSDI-Communication and the MOH used formative research to develop a creative unifying concept that energized all partners and facilitated effective coordination and harmonization of all SBCC activities and messages.

The unifying platform, Moyo ndi Mpamba, Usamalireni (life is precious, take care of it), was a three-year multi-level multimedia campaign. The brand name resonated with Malawian culture and values. Its literal translation, ‘life is capital/investment’, was likened to business capital which must be handled with care to ensure that that the investment/ business prospers. This brand united the following materials and activities that integrated health messages from six priority EHP areas:

  • Radio based initiatives: Radio spots, national radio dialogue sessions to promote discussions on issues that affect people’s health and wellbeing, and three radio programs (one radio serial drama, and two “reality radio” programs).
  • Transformative tools: A Family Health Booklet, a flipchart for Community Health Workers/Volunteers, a participatory toolkit for adolescent girls and young women to prevent HIV, a booklet for couples who are about to get married or who are newly married, and a comic book for children that promoted both malaria prevention and literacy.
  • District Health Promotion Roadshows held at trading centers and market places, which used interactive entertainment education approach to promote positive health behaviors, utilization of health services and encourage dialogue and discussions on priority health issues.
  • Music4Life Initiative: Using the power and reach of music in Malawi, the project worked with musical artists to produce and perform songs that incorporated health messages. Music festivals were held at regional and national level, and a music album and all-star video were produced and distributed to radio and TV stations in Malawi.
  • Other supporting materials: Billboards, posters, leaflets.

Expected Outcomes

  • Strengthen national and targeted district level SBCC planning and coordination on EHP priorities applied across health and resulting synergies.
  • Develop and produce evidence-based SBCC packages under a multi-level media campaign to support effective, integrated SBCC implementation through mass media and facility and community level.
  • Build capacity of key national institutional partners and targeted district SSDI Services partners for effective SBCC strategic planning and delivery through on-going technical assistance and monitoring on use of developed packaged interventions.
  • Identify best practices for SBCC implementation through formative research, testing new innovative approaches and materials and operational research, where appropriate.

Actual Outcomes

  • 89% of men and 78% of women have heard of Moyo ndi Mpamba
  • The project’s flagship Family Health Booklet reached approximately 3 million people in 15 districts in Malawi with essential health messages.
  • The Moyo ndi Mpamba radio program was very popular with 57 percent of men and 33 of women being exposed to the program.
  • At least 78% of men and 71% of women were also exposed to at least one Moyo ndi Mpamba campaign activity.
  • Nearly 70% of all exposed respondents reported that they wash their hands using soap and water at endline compared to 57% during the baseline.

2011 - 2016

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