Social & behaviour change communication case study: open defecation in India
Public health programmes and interventions often focus on the supply side, such as providing equipment and infrastructure. To achieve sustainable improvements in health outcomes, we must also create demand for the new services. In the case of open defecation in India, the supply-led approach of building latrines has failed to significantly reduce the practice. In October 2014, the Prime Minister of India launched a new Clean India Mission to focus on social and behaviour change to increase demand for and use of these latrines, alongside improving sanitation infrastructure.
This report demonstrates how behaviour change communications is key to improving public health in developing countries. Whilst building infrastructure and services is critical, there is also a need to change social and behavioural norms to create the demand for public health services. The structure is inspired by both UNICEF’s guidelines on writing a communications strategy for development programmes and the proprietary tools used by Thompson Social | J. Walter Thompson for strategy development.