13,612 The Drum Beat, What in Development works? This works!

What in Development works? This works!

Many thanks for being part of The Drum Beat network. Can we please encourage you to consider the following in your role of formulating Development policies, making investment decisions, highlighting the case for the work of your organisation and/or managing Development initiatives. Below you will find:

  • 10 examples of compelling impact data; and
  • 6 essential strategic principles for effective Development action

These relate to social change, behaviour change, communication for development, community engagement/action, social norms change and media (for) development strategies and principles. They are derived from research and evaluation presented at the recent 2018 Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit (Nusa Dua, Indonesia, 16-20 April, 2018) – the Declaration from which can be reviewed at this link.
The Research and Evaluation Impact Data – 10 examples

1. Public engagement and Medellin
Impact: 85% reduction in extreme poverty
Presenter: Anibal Gaviria, previous Mayor of Medellin and Governor of Antioquia in Colombia
2. Behavioural economics and antenatal services
Impact: More women – 33% – attended a minimum of four ANC visits in the intervention wards compared to 25% in the control wards
Presenter: Matthew Okoh, Johns Hopkins University
3. Discussion, testimony and gender based violence (GBV)
Impact: On average, a 59% decrease in reported GBV cases
Presenter: Agnes Watsemba, RTI International
4. Empowerment and HIV
Impact: Viral load suppression rate (increased) from 83.4% to 91.7% – January 2017 to November 2017
Presenter: Richard Kanakulya, FHI360
5. Social networks and nutrition
Impact: % of women taking iron for 90+ days almost doubled (22-40%)
Presenter: Aida Shambetova, JSI
6. Community engagement and birthweight
Impact: The odds of having LBW (low birth weight) were 68% lower in the intervention group than in the comparison group
Presenter: Morseda Chowdhury, The University of Sydney
7. Voice and HIV
Impact: There was a 50% decrease in new HIV infections among girls who were exposed to Soul Buddyz Clubs initiatives compared to those not exposed
Presenter: Dr Sue Goldstein, Soul City Institute for Social Justice
8. Digital media and HIV
Impact: a 17.7 percentage point increase in ever using a condom, a 14.1 percentage point increase in ever using modern contraception, and 20.0 percentage point increase in recommending a condom
Presenter: Paul Hutchinson, Tulane University
9. Religious engagement and nutrition
Impact: “minimum dietary diversity among children under 2 increased by 20-percentage point from 5% to 25%
Presenter: Manisha Tharaney, FHI 360
10. Community mobilisation and institutional delivery
Impact:Institutional delivery (births) increased five-fold from 2014 levels
Presenter: Salah Uddin, Save the Children
Effective action that makes progress towards local, national and global Development goals (the SDGs) requires investment choices that are based on local and national insights and analysis, learning from ongoing initiatives and the strategic implications of research-based evidence.
The field of work that covers social change, behaviour change, informed and engaged societies, media (for) development, social norms and communication for development is often critiqued as not having the evidence part of that equation – the so-called hard data. The Social and Behaviour Communication Summit held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia April 16th to 20th, 2018 helped to dispel that myth. The data outlined above represents a small selection of what was presented.
At the conclusion of the Summit, the 1200 participants identified the following 6 core recommendations for effective Development that would benefit from policy support and resource investment. These are outlined in further detail in the Summit Declaration.
Effective Development strategies and action require policy implementation and investment choices that:

  • Strengthen the agency of ordinary people.
  • Ensure the design of public policies and social infrastructure that enable, rather than hinder, open and inclusive dialogue.
  • Support people’s rights to communication.
  • Recognise that social change and shifting social norms are complex and not always linear requiring long-term commitment and flexibility.
  • Enhance dignity and respect for diversity.
  • Enable full participation of affected people in Development agenda setting and action.

These are submitted for your consideration. If you wish to further discuss the data and strategies presented, please contact the lead people listed below from the Summit Secretariat organizations.
Susan Krenn (Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs)
Lebo Ramafoko (Soul City Institute for Social Justice)
James Deane (BBC Media Action)
Rafael Obregon (UNICEF)
Warren Feek (The Communication Initiative)
Thank you
Warren Feek
Executive Director
The Communication Initiative
Office – 1–250-658-6372
Mobile – 1–250-588-8795


Please support and encourage people in your networks to join The CI network at this link

The Communication Initiative PARTNERS – Please click on PARTNERS on all site pages to review their work.

For an outline of The Communication Initiative Partnership and Network please access this summary

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