Social and Behavior Change Communication


Dec

07

2015
Where Does Ebola Come From? Communicating Science as a Matter of Life and Death – Part 1 of 2

Where Does Ebola Come From? Communicating Science as a Matter of Life and Death – Part 1 of 2

*This post originally appeared in PLOS | blogs. When I was in Liberia in June this year, just one month after the country had been declared “Ebola-free,” I noticed how often I heard the phrase “that was before Ebola” or “that was after Ebola”. The Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 brought unspeakable horror to a country still rebuilding after the war. News of new cases...

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Feb

06

2015
Ebola Survivor Comic Book to Be Distributed to Liberian Schools

Ebola Survivor Comic Book to Be Distributed to Liberian Schools

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is supporting the printing and distribution in Liberian schools of a comic book featuring a fictional soccer star that survived Ebola. Plans call for distributing 3,500 copies in schools along with a teacher guide, as well as selling it commercially. Developed by a team of graphic artists and storytellers in Liberia, the Ebola edition of “Tabella Tee – International...

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Dec

02

2014
The Power of Behavior Change

The Power of Behavior Change

The journal Nature has a special on Ebola, collecting all its reporting on the virus in one place. One of those articles, Models overestimate Ebola cases, is on the failure of mathematical models to accurately predict the epidemic’s course. In an interesting letter responding to that article, the authors credit “altered cultural perception” that allowed for behavior change, changing the course of the epidemic for the...

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Nov

24

2014
Ebola is Real: Using Theory to Develop Messaging in a Health Crisis

Ebola is Real: Using Theory to Develop Messaging in a Health Crisis

Question: What is the difference between these two messages? “Ebola is real! If you get it, you’ll die!” and “Ebola is real! If you seek treatment you have a fifty-per-cent chance of recovery?” Answer: Theory. The Extended Parallel Process Model, or EPPM, to be exact. These messages come from a great article in the New Yorker on the use of “culture makers” (i.e. entertainers, community...

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Nov

11

2014
What Can Be Done to Reduce Stigma and Help Communities Get Beyond Fear

What Can Be Done to Reduce Stigma and Help Communities Get Beyond Fear

In ancient Greece, slaves and traitors and other undesirables were marked or branded to show their lowly status and allow people to shun them. From that practice we get the word stigma, or mark. Today we use the word to describe the discrimination and social shunning people experience for myriad different reasons – sexual orientation, disease status, weight, ethnicity. As Ebola has spread, so has...

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Nov

05

2014
Ebola, Hand-washing and Oral Rehydration Therapy

Ebola, Hand-washing and Oral Rehydration Therapy

The question of Ebola communication has focused mainly on, well, Ebola. But beyond knowledge of how the virus is spread and what to do if you get it, there are practices and skills that public health people have been communicating about for decades that can help with prevention and, possibly, survival. Two big ones are hand-washing and Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT). Hand-washing is one of...

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Oct

28

2014
UNICEF and partners conduct Ebola education sessions at schools throughout the capital, Conakry

The Art of Adaptation When Adapting Communication Materials in a Hurry

If you Google “brochure” and “family planning,” you get page after page of links to brochures, most of them to reputable materials you can use. But replace “family planning” with “Ebola,” and there aren’t so many options. The outbreak, and our response, is simply too new. If you are in need of a brochure (or poster or radio spot or whole communication strategy) for Ebola...

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Sep

24

2014
Communication Plays a Critical Role in Ebola Crisis

Communication Plays a Critical Role in Ebola Crisis

During a capacity building workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone, this past June, the mood was understandably tense as Ebola continued to spread from the East. Tea-break conversations became heated about regional responses to it.