14,117 The Drum Beat, January 22- 2020, Quick Links: A Focused Email Initiative for the Polio Community and Beyond

The Drum Beat drumbeat@comminit.com

mié., 22 ene. 16:56 (hace 1 día)



The Drum Beat 783
January 22, 2020
Quick Links: A Focused Email Initiative for the Polio Community and Beyond




In this issue:


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), helping countries develop communication strategies vital to vaccine acceptance. Launched in 2019, Quick Links is an initiative of The Communication Initiative (The CI) that is in line with UNICEF’s strategic communication focus on engaging communities and improving the responsiveness of development and humanitarian actors. In this case, The CI is using the relatively old-fashioned communication platform of email to highlight communication content and direct it to – for engagement by – specific audiences with immediate needs «on the ground» in the polio eradication fight. By introducing the entire CI community to the effort in this edition of The Drum Beat, we hope to invite more people to join while also drawing attention to content on the polio site that may be of interest to those in the field of health communication, or anyone who feels their work can benefit from lessons in this area.
From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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  • 1. Introducing Quick Links
    In response to feedback gathered at polio eradication Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meetings and communication reviews, The CI undertook an experiment with the intent of sending brief, focused, timely emails on specific high-priority issues for the polio programme in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The idea is to make relevant content available in digestible amounts to those working directly on resolving these issues and to point them to other rich repositories of polio communication content such as that found on The CI Polio Network website, the GPEI website, and UNICEF’s Rhizome website. Though the recipients for the first experimental phase included an initial mailing list of a small number of people, this is a list that can grow and can be turned into an active discussion group, based on the archived content and contributions now accessible to all via The CI’s Polio and Immunization Network. Details follow below; please join us!

If you would like to see the topics and resources covered to date and the comments they have generated, Quick Links notes and comments can be accessed in the Polio and Immunization Network.

To begin receiving contributions, you may email Chris Morry at cmorry@comminit.com with «Subscribe Quick Links» in the subject line.


  • 2. Lessons Learned in the Use of Data
    The pressing questions of today are around directing the right data to the right people in the right form at the right time. This Quick Links includes a list of just 3 of the polio communication resources related to data use: One focuses on the evolution of data use in the polio programme and how this evolution occurred in response to programme needs; one looks at how data has been used in the polio programme (drawing on evidence from the India and Nigeria country programmes); and the final one, which is not based on the polio experience, shares experience from PATH on how to build data use into a working culture.
  • 3. Community Engagement in Conflict-affected Areas and with the Hard-to-reach
    The GPEI encounters challenges related to community engagement in conflict-affected areas and amongst hard-to-reach populations. This Quick Links features 3 examples of the many relevant summaries on The CI polio website. The first presents the findings of a cluster randomised control trial in conflict-affected districts of Pakistan on polio community engagement integrated with maternal and child health immunisation. The second looks at lessons from Nigeria about reaching hard-to-reach mobile populations. The third looks to India’s Social Mobilization Network (SMNet) and describes its organisational structure and the activities it undertook to create a highly successful social mobilisation partnership.
  • 4. Working with Religious Leaders
    These 3 Quick Links resources include: a case study out of Northern Nigeria for building relationships with religious leaders where trust is lacking, a document from UNICEF India exploring the importance of religious leadership for building community ownership, and an Islamic faith-based manual for working in conflict zones.
  • 5. Anti-vaxx Arguments, Using Social Media and Building Trust
    In the context of an April 22 2019 event in Peshawar, Pakistan, that resulted in misinformation being disseminated about the safety of the polio vaccine, with rumours and panic left in its wake, these 3 selections focus on: how people form health beliefs and why scientific counter-argument alone seldom works, ideas for using social media for public health, and ways to build trust.
«We will really need this in our advocacy. People have been asking for evidence on this issue and now we have it.» – Comment from UNICEF Pakistan on Quick Links #5. See more – and engage yourself – within the Quick Links archive.

  • 6. Mandatory Vaccination and Punishment – Reasons to Resist
    As refusals and hesitancy grow, one might think that punishing those who refuse and making vaccination mandatory will turn things around and get vaccination levels back on track. However, research shows the opposite is often the case. This Quick Links provides a teaser to some of the content in an edition of The Drum Beat titled Post-Crisis Communication: The Case of Polio and Vaccines. One Quick Links selection presents an overview of mandatory immunisation from 3 countries; one includes lessons from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in Muslim majority countries; and one examines Australia’s «No Jab, No Pay» policy.
  • 7. Expanded Age Groups for Vaccination – Do We Have the Evidence to Evaluate Communication Risk?
    This Quick Links looks at research on the immunological impact of, and arguments for, expanding the age of children to be immunised against polio. Any intervention that provides limited benefit and only in some contexts needs to be carefully evaluated against risks. Considering episodes like the public panic and viral social media misinformation that led to the large spike in refusals related to an expanded age groups (EAG) for polio vaccination campaign referenced in #5, above, the risks in certain contexts can be high. The communication risks are poorly understood and hardly mentioned in the literature on EAG, but the 3 analyses included in this Quick Links point out the marginal impact of EAG on immunity when compared with other interventions.
  • 8. Understanding Health Provision and Communication in Inaccessible Areas
    This Quick Links focuses on the importance of understanding that demand for health care does not disappear in inaccessible areas and that alternative providers emerge in areas that government and other formal providers cannot access. To work in such environments requires a well-informed understanding of the various actors, the services they provide, and which ones can be effective partners in delivering vaccination and other health services. It also requires a strong understanding of the perceived health priorities of communities living in these areas and respectful engagement with local leaders. The 3 analyses selected for this Quick Links point to the importance of understanding these complex and crowded spaces inside conflict-affected areas and how to communicate with the people living in them. Case studies come, for example, from Afghanistan, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti, Palestine, and Somalia.
  • 9. Incentives and Demand for Immunisation
    There is good evidence that well-designed interventions with appropriate health-related incentives have a positive impact on reducing the numbers of children who are chronically missed in the context of vaccination. However, incentives by themselves have limited impact, add cost, and need to be focused on high-risk communities. This Quick Links includes 4 articles: The first looks at the impact of several blended interventions in northern Nigeria that had a positive impact on immunising children in non-compliant communities; the second compares immunisation camps with and without pluses and determines that pluses increase uptake of immunisation services; the third is a meta-analysis of demand-side interventions in low- and middle-income countries; and the fourth looks at an intervention in Nigeria that combined incentives with direct observation of vaccination, which helped reduce numbers of chronically missed children.
  • 10. Fake News
    This Quick Links focuses on «fake news» and why it is important for the polio programme to understand that it is more complex than simply countering inaccurate information: It is a process in which information is filtered, transformed, and amplified during its journey through multiple social media spaces. The 3 resources (with bonus links) shared here demonstrate the importance of identifying the source of inaccurate information, unpacking the intent of those who disseminate inaccurate information, and understanding the path through which information circulates as a way to understand why and how some social media environments tend to disseminate and amplify misinformation more than others.

ENQUIRY: Your priorities, opportunities and challenges!
What kinds of challenges and opportunities infuse your communication and media development, social and behavioural change work? This survey is a chance for you to let us know! We will report back on results and trends so you can gain insights from your peers in the network.
Click here to lend your voice.
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDIBBC Media ActionBernard van Leer FoundationBreakthroughCiturna TVFundación ImaginarioFundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI)HeartlinesJohns Hopkins Center for Communication ProgramsMaternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)MISAOpen Society FoundationsOxfam NovibPAHOThe Panos InstitutePuntos de EncuentroSAfAIDSSesame WorkshopSoul CitySTEPS InternationalUNAIDSUNICEFUniversidad de los AndesWorld Health Organization (WHO)W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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