SECTION 3. STRATEGIES FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY
Ongoing engagement with national/district/facility-level stakeholders is crucial to maintaining commitment, ensuring accountability, and creating or strengthening a positive environment to improve and scale up QoC in MNCH in the long term. This section provides a set of approaches and tools for information, communication and advocacy strategies and activities geared towards stakeholders who are not directly part of the partnership or member of the TWG or QI team.
Information strategies around the QI initiative
At which points do core stakeholders, other groups and the general public need to be informed about the QI initiative? Think through the types of information different stakeholders and community members need. What mechanisms will be put in place for information sharing?
Recommended information activities – national level
- Launch of an MNCH QoC report or other relevant outputs
- Creating momentum and organizing events around key dates (e.g. International Women’s Day) or organizing a side event to a conference (e.g. health summit)
- Presentation of programmes and reports at medical schools to raise awareness and collect feedback from students.
Recommended information activities – district level
Communication and advocacy strategies to promote QoC in the MNCH agenda
Goals of communication and advocacy
When to develop a communications and advocacy strategy?
A communications and advocacy strategy complements the stakeholder engagement strategy by conducting more in-depth analyses of the position of stakeholders towards a QI initiative and their preferred information sources and channels. Communications and advocacy activities can be planned and implemented at different stages of the QI initiative. They are, however, more likely to be effective and consistent when developed at the early stages of the process.
Who should develop a communication and advocacy strategy?
A communications and advocacy strategy complements the stakeholder engagement strategy; therefore, ideally, the group that developed the stakeholder engagement strategy also develops the communications and advocacy strategy. The stakeholder mapping and analysis will also help to identify partners (e.g. NGOs or civil society organizations, media, existing MNCH campaigns) that have existing QoC or MNCH advocacy campaigns that can be built upon. For example, White Ribbon Alliance has launched advocacy campaigns on safe and respectful childbirth in several countries. Box 6 describes some resources supporting information, communication and advocacy.
Box 6. Resources supporting information, communication and advocacy
Tools and references for communication and advocacy – national level
Tools and references for information and communication – facility level
- Save the Children (2008). Thinking through motivational messages to interest partners in the QOC programme (PDQ-Youth guide, p. 28).
- Community Toolbox. Developing a community communication plan.
- Community Toolbox. Information and consultation: making community presentations.
- The IAP2 Public Participation Toolbox provides a reference guide on 45 techniques for sharing information. Some of the communication techniques covered are press releases, newspaper inserts, television programming, briefings, in-person surveys, focus groups and open houses.WHO (2014). Every Newborn advocacy toolkit: Developing communication materials for health workers, community and religious leaders, NGOs; includes examples of communication channels to reach pregnant women, husbands, families and community leaders in MNCH (pp. 28–30).