Post by: Caroline Sugg, Head of Special Projects (Policy & Learning), BBC Media Action
The health workers spoke about how they used to have to walk around their village and put a lot of effort into persuading women to come to the monthly government-run Village Health and Sanitation Days (VSHNDs). The introduction of GupShup Potli (A Bag Full of Chatter) – a new service developed by BBC Media Action – changed things.
GupShup Potli is a service consisting of short, dramatized ‘audio-capsules’ that health workers can play on speakers connected to their basic mobile phones. The content was carefully designed to draw women’s attention in the crowded and noisy VSHNDs. A catalogue-based approach allows the health worker to choose the episode they think will most suit the women at a given meeting and access it on their phone by dialing a toll-free number.
The health workers I met were happy to report that women now go out of their way to make it to the VSHNDs to listen to the advice the drama contains and talk it through with their peers. When data was last collected, the service was being used in over 15,000 villages in the state of Bihar each month, without the need for expensive new equipment.
Group discussion sessions such as these are frequently included in health communication programmes, and innovative approaches to this group-based communication can significantly impact participation and outcomes. Join BBC Media Action and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs from October 25-27 on Springboard for Health Communication Professionals as we explore ‘what’s new’ in this traditional approach to health communication practice:
- What do we expect group discussions to achieve and what evidence do we now have to back this up?
- What do we know about the factors that determine whether these interactions will have an impact on health in the communities we work with?
- How is technology helping us share information, stimulate conversations and support healthy lifestyles?
- What have we learnt about how to implement group discussion sessions at scale in a way that is cost-effective?
Don’t miss your opportunity to share your thoughts on how work with group discussions is evolving and engage with others about the innovative work you are doing.
- Fill out the online registration form on Springboard.
- Activate your registration via the email you receive after filling out the registration form.
- Navigate to the conversation here.
More about the facilitators: