Health Communication Capacity Collaborative Project

BACKGROUND

Despite the many barriers to access health services in Nepal, the government has made considerable progress in improving the reproductive health of its people over the last two decades. There has been substantial progress in reducing maternal mortality, under-five mortality and the total fertility rate.  Yet despite these gains, Nepal’s progress on Millennium Development Goal 5(b) – universal access to reproductive health, as measured by the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR), and by the level of unmet need for family planning - has slowed in recent years. 

While USAID and the Government of Nepal have partnered on many successful family planning communication efforts since the early 1990s, a new effort is now needed to target and reach those groups with the highest unmet need for family planning services in order to increase CPR and meet Nepal’s MDG 5 goal.  The National Health Education Information Communication Center (NHEICC) in the Ministry of Health and Population, which is in charge of national SBCC efforts, has a strengthened mandate under the National Health Communication Policy of 2012 and will play a vital role in supporting the country’s goal in improving access to family planning services in the country.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Nepal HC3 Project is four-year, $5 million project that focuses on youth, adolescents, migrants and marginalized and disadvantaged groups. The national-level project will work closely with NHEICC and Family Health Division (FHD) in order to support comprehensive, targeted SBCC campaigns and advocacy among these groups. Nepal HC3 will also develop the overall institutional and technical capacity of NHEICC with the ultimate goal of improving reproductive health outcomes in Nepal. 

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Strengthen program design, implementation and evaluation for Family Planning/Reproductive Health social and behavior change communication

Overarching National Umbrella Campaign:

  • National level orientation, coordination and advocacy among policy makers
  • FP Communication Strategy development led by the NHEICC
  • Harmonization of existing and new messages among partners
  • Umbrella campaign and media and materials development
  • Sustainable planning and management of interpersonal communication and counselling print materials
  • Evaluation of FP/Reproductive Health social and behavioral change and communication

Youth, Adolescent, Migrants, Marginalized and Disadvantaged Groups (MDAGs) Extension Campaigns:

  • Design, implement and evaluate the extension of SBCC campaigns for youth, adolescents, migrants and MDAGs, with special focus on greatest unmet need for FP
  • Collect and analyze existing BCC materials, media and methods
  • Develop a communication tools package
  • Conceptualize, test and roll out the innovative media and SBCC approaches

Strengthen institutional and technical capacity for NHEICC, FHD and partners

  • Collaboration and coordination with NHEICC, FHD and other stakeholders
  • Establish a baseline for capacity strengthening with the NHEICC by applying a SBCC capacity strengthening assessment tool
  • Assess and help NHEICC to train, monitor and mentor 240 new constituency level health inspectors
  • Explore the incorporation of health promotion components into an Masters in Public Health course
  • Comprehensive capacity strengthening for NHEICC and partners using a mixture of applied learning, mentoring, formal training, and strengthening of existing and new        institutional systems
  • Action plan and target milestones development based on the assessment

KEY RESULTS

The Nepal HC3 Project expects to:

  • Strengthen institutional and technical capacity of NHEICC to conduct high quality SBCC programs
  • Improve the enabling environment for family planning SBCC activities at national and district levels
  • Increase communication on FP among communities, families and peers, thus repositioning FP as a desired social norm and health solution
  • Increased Contraceptive Prevalence Rate, increased age of marriage, increased delay in pregnancy and reduced overall unmet need among men and women of reproductive age in Nepal, specifically among youth, adolescents, migrants and MDAGs.

Last updated: August 14, 2014

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