OSC designs and implements research-driven behavior change communications (BCC) strategies and campaigns tailored to the local context that drive the adoption of healthy behaviors.
OSC conducts formative research to develop effective BCC strategies and tools. These strategies are designed to promote behaviors that will improve health status and contribute to long-term sustainable outcomes. OSC develops key messages to improve gender equality in health, and develops capacity building plans for local organizations and project staff/partners. Communications channels OSC has used include mass media, radio spots and call-in shows, broadcasts in local dialects, puppet troupes, dance shows, skit-based BCC initiatives, tribal meetings, drama, songs, sermons, and illustrations. OSC implements mHealth initiatives using SMS campaigns and closed user groups (CUGs) to link community networks with health information and service referrals. OSC has also developed, tested, deployed, and trained local partners in effective participatory interpersonal communication (IPC) approaches. In addition, OSC implements the Champion Communes and Champion Households approach, a framework for community mobilization and local leadership development that works to engage community members to improve health outcomes, conduct neighborhood outreach, and foster community development, in the areas of FP/RH, MNCH, nutrition, malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, WASH, GBV, and NTD.
OSC is committed to sustainable, impactful country ownership of programs, and supports local capacity by fostering local ownership and building human and institutional capacity. OSC works with national NGOs to build their skill and capacity, and transition leadership and management to local partners both at project end and through the graduation of NGOs. OSC trains ministry officials in target audience identification, message development, and media engagement, and hosts workshops for journalists to more effectively report on health reform topics and deliver behavior change messages.
OSC’s strategy is to promote men’s involvement in family health and to increase women’s autonomy and participation in the household and in community organizations. Interventions include supporting the increase in availability of healthcare services for women, reinforcing the capacity of community organizations and agents to address gender issues, and utilizing opinion leaders to spread targeted messages about gender issues.
On one project, OSC designed and is implementing a Social and Behavior Change (SBCC) strategy to improve the nutritional status of people living with HIV/AIDS as well as orphans and vulnerable children. OSC developed IPC modules and information, education, and communication (IEC) materials based on key project messages.
OSC bases its health programming on research and evaluation. For example, OSC performed IPC capacity assessments of local NGOs and CBOs, and conducted research to reveal priority barriers to behavioral change in each project health area in the DRC. OSC facilitated participatory workshops for CBOs, NGOs, and community health workers to develop and build behavior change messages, materials, and strategies. In Armenia, OSC collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and local civil society organizations to develop and implement a national public education campaign supporting Armenia’s transition to a decentralized primary health care model. This project’s comprehensive health communications strategy was informed by OSC-led quantitative (KAP survey) and qualitative (focus groups, in-depth interviews) research.
OSC employs experts in health and research and evaluation. For example, Dr. Lynn Lawry, is a physician and public health leader with expertise in maternal and child health, GBV, human rights, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.