Guatemala SBCC Strategy for First 1,000 Days Targets Influencers Beyond Young Mothers

 “Juntos Prosperamos. Nos Atrevemos. Avanzamos.”

Together we prosper. We dare. We advance.” is the unifying umbrella platform and brand for USAID’s integrated health and development efforts in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) worked in close collaboration with the USAID mission in Guatemala and 12 USAID-funded health and development partners active in the Western Highlands to develop this brand and a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy. The strategy unifies activities across the areas important during the “First 1,000 Days” (from the beginning of a pregnancy through the end of a child’s first year) – safe pregnancy, exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, birth spacing, hygiene, sanitation and baby WASH, and home-based agriculture, as well as relevant gender norms. The ultimate goal is to reduce chronic malnutrition and increase hygiene and crops diversification.

While most health and development efforts in the Western Highlands related to the First 1,000 Days have focused on pregnant women and young mothers, this new strategy focuses on transforming the home into the “heart of change” by deepening and expanding the involvement of key influencers and decision-makers: mothers-in-law/grandmothers, young fathers, religious and community leaders, and development and health volunteers.

By taking this new approach, the strategy aims to transform social norms and create a support network for the young family that leads to behavior change and better health outcomes for moms and babies.

The strategy capitalizes on pre-existing platforms, networks and resources that USAID has developed in collaboration with its implementing partners, and fills in gaps identified through a rigorous and comprehensive situation analysis. The core of the strategy is a new interactive radio platform that features engaging radio drama, testimonials and life stories of those champions and positive deviants that have changed their behavior and experienced the benefits, and a lively interaction between two radio hosts – a grandmother/mother-in-law and a community volunteer. The content of the radio platform will be aligned with the other platforms included in the strategy – a tablet application and kit of materials for community volunteers and leaders that harmonize SBCC across relevant health and development areas, community dialogues, and discussion clubs for grandmothers and young men.

The Juntos Prosperamos platform is unique not only in that it unifies SBCC across multiple health and development areas, it is also a platform that focuses on emotional triggers such as aspirations, hope, and social and community action to create change. By focusing on a vision of a prosperous future, HC3 Guatemala plans to achieve real change and support Guatemalans as they work together to create better lives for themselves.

HC3 Guatemala SBCC Strategy in English | en Español

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