Between 2014 and 2016, Dominique Thaly helped develop four national communication strategies for development for maternal, neonatal and child health in Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Togo and Nigeria.
On the basis of the observation that neonatal mortality remains very high, particularly in West Africa, the UNICEF Regional Office for West Africa has decided to concentrate its efforts to improve communication for development in some of these countries to help reduce these rates.
In fact, pneumonia, diarrhoea, poor maternal health and neonatal care practices are the main culprits in child deaths around the world. There is growing evidence that strategic health-related communications can influence maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) behaviours and change social norms related to health.
Communication strategies that increase knowledge, change attitudes, behaviours and norms at the individual, social and community levels are essential to reduce the risk and impact of the preventable MNCH challenges and mortality related to them.
These strategies also empower communities, families and individuals to play a more active role in achieving long-term health outcomes. These strategies aim to promote Essential Family Practices (EFPs), that is key practices at the family and community level that have proven successful in reducing child mortality.
These communication strategies for development were developed in collaboration with relevant Ministries, health system actors, civil society actors, the media and other technical and financial partners.
The methods used were the desk review and a participatory strategy development workshop. The strategies developed were in line with the guidelines developed by the Regional UNICEF Office for West and Central Africa. Each strategy includes a behavioural analysis, an analysis of the media landscape, recommendations and arguments, objectives and strategic axes and an operational action plan.
ATI collaborators who worked on these projects: