The Right Stuff for the Right Start: A Look at Child Health Sessions at the SBCC Summit

The Child Health-focused sessions at the SBCC Summit offer a wide variety of perspectives on how to reach parents, how to reach people who influence them and how to use the latest technology to do both.

Photo: World Bank Photo Collection

Photo: World Bank Photo Collection, Flickr

Beginning on Monday, February 8, the session From the Pulpit to the People explores the many ways in which faith leaders influence caregivers in child care – be it nutrition, prevention of disease like Ebola or even sustaining a healthy marriage. Because faith leaders hold sway over so many and have a great deal of influence, many countries have utilized this influence to affect behavior change for better child health.

On Tuesday, From Silicon Valley to Sierra Leone will look at the evolving field of human-centered design, which is beginning to be applied to SBCC. It’s all about listening, empathy, prototyping and iteration. It’s new and it’s pretty fascinating to learn how Silicon Valley techniques are easily applied to in-country programs. Piecing the Puzzle Together tackles the difficult task of integration – how have programs addressed two or more health topics in a holistic and effective way?

Wednesday’s Communication for Development (C4D) session will cover programs dealing with child marriage, girls’ education, water and sanitation, and more. Another session that day – Moving the Message through Mobile – explores the use of mobile communication to reach thousands with few words, an area not altogether new in our world of SBCC, but is ever-changing and evolving. This session will cover tweeting and mobile messaging to improve child health – whether to remind mothers about their children’s upcoming appointments or to provide a bit of encouragement for continuing a new adopted behavior.

Massaging the Message on Wednesday afternoon will introduce you to programs which have used unique messages to enhance child health. For example, in Albania, modern family planning is promoted as a marital sex aid. The Right Stuff for the Right Start covers programs in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Senegal. In Ethiopia, for example, a “speaking book” was developed to help educate parents about immunization, and for older children, a “Healthy Whiz Kids” campaign encouraged kids to learn about their own health care.

The full range of child health topics, interventions, methodologies and results that will be presented at the Summit is pretty exciting – enjoy and learn!

Click here for a complete list of child health-focused sessions, and be sure to follow Summit updates via #SBCCSummit on Twitter and Facebook.

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