By Sanjeeta Agnihotri
Springboard launched July 30 at an event in New Delhi, India, to a crowd of social and behavior change communication professionals.
Established last year by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), Springboard is a global face-to-face and online platform supporting and nurturing regional communities of health communication practitioners, scholars and policy-makers.
Speaking at the launch Dr. Sanjanthi Velu, Director of Asia Programmes at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (CCP) said, “A large proportion of India’s health issues are preventable. It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The burden on our already overstretched health institutions at all levels can be greatly reduced with more innovative and coordinated health prevention efforts – jointly by us and all our partners.”
“There are great innovations in health promotion and disease prevention happening in different parts of India, from small villages and communities to towns and large metros. There is currently no forum for showcasing these ideas, sharing, discussing and learning from each other to improve, adapt, save time, effort and resources. Springboard is a welcome initiative that fulfills this need,” she added.
In her welcome remarks, Dr. Sharmila Neogi from USAID said, “USAID is committed to promoting worldwide networks such as Springboard, for strengthening global communities of health professionals. We believe in networking and collaboration as critical elements for synergy and innovation. Springboard enables its members to learn from each other, share expertise and use existing resources, discovering and contributing to discussions and innovative solutions,” she added.
HC3 is a five-year, global project funded by USAID. It is designed to strengthen developing country capacity to implement state-of-the-art social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs. Among the important health areas addressed by HC3 are: Family planning and reproductive health; Child survival; Maternal and child health; HIV and AIDS; Malaria, TB and other infectious and non-communicable diseases. The project also offers expertise in social and behavior change for gender equity; environment; and democracy and governance.
“Strengthening the capacity of local organizations is at the heart of HC3,” says Tawfique Jahan, Coordinator, Regional Springboard Secretariat HC3.
Dr. Ben Lozare, Director of Training and Capacity Building at CCP delivered an inspiring keynote address at the Springboard launch about the importance of networks and collaboration in today’s context of positively influencing health and social behavior.
Dr. Nagesh Rao, Director, MICA in Ahmedabad, shared his thoughts about the usefulness of Springboard in the field in India. “Springboard will serve as a one-stop shop for all health communication information, news, events, discussions and materials related strictly to India,” he said.
For information about Springboard and HC3, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.