In November of 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded FHI 360 and its consortium of partners — VOTO Mobile (now Viamo), Creative Storm Networks and Ghana Community Radio Network — a five-year cooperative agreement to implement the Communicate for Heath (C4H) project in Ghana. The project seeks to improve the health and well-being of Ghanaians through a broad range of mass media and social and behavior change (SBC) campaigns.
The C4H project works with the Government of Ghana, the Ghana Health Service/Health Promotion Department (GHS/HPD) and local Ghanaian and international development partners to influence behavior change in family planning; nutrition; maternal, newborn and child health; malaria prevention and treatment; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and HIV/AIDS. The project builds on USAID’s legacy of improving health and nutrition in Ghana, including support for improved health communication.
Project objectives are to: (1) support the Government of Ghana’s efforts to influence positive behavior change in the health areas described above, (2) strengthen the capacity of the GHS/HPD to effectively develop, coordinate and deliver evidence-based social and behavior change campaigns, including monitoring and evaluation and (3) develop and strengthen the capacity of local SBC organizations to deliver quality health communication programming.
Key results to date include:
- Repositioning and repopularizing the GHS/HPD flagship health promotion brand, GoodLife, Live it Well. C4H worked to make the brand the unifying brand for all SBC products and services within the Ghana Health Service. Launched on July 28, 2016, by Ghana’s Health Minister, Hon. Alexander Segbefia, the refreshed health communication campaign promotes a range of doable health behaviors by life stage — pregnant couples, adolescents, young people in relationships and caretakers of children under five — that are brought together under the campaign tag line, GoodLife, Live it Well. It’s an #everydaything.
- TV, radio and social media. To date, the project has produced and broadcast more than 154,000 spots and public service announcements in eight languages, as well as documentaries and two enter-educate series: You Only Live Once — YOLO and the Maternal Health Channel. Collectively, programs have been broadcast on more than 26 national, regional and community radio and TV stations, reaching nearly 23 million people. The GoodLife social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube — also have important reach. As of January 2018, the GoodLife Facebook page had more than 34,365 subscribers, 34,582 followers and 1,837,529 views.
- Capacity-building activities. The Change Agent Development Program and Set for Change Learning Set initiatives are C4H’s hallmark capacity building initiatives. The two programs, which feature a blend of theory and hands-on practical work in SBC, were developed specifically for GHS/HPD staff based at the national, regional and district levels to enable them to plan and deliver effective evidence-based and theory-driven interventions and campaigns. Both programs include leadership training and professional development coaching and mentoring.
- Collaboration and coordination with partners. Collaboration is a key part of the C4H project. To date, C4H has actively worked with several USAID projects, including Systems for Health, WASH for Health, People for Health, Evaluate for Health, SPRING, RING, SHOPS and VectorWorks, and with non-USAID partners such as UNICEF, the National Population Council and the National Malaria Control Program. Activities are support for SBC coordination, materials development and pretesting, media dissemination, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation to consultative meetings, document exchange and review, and resource leveraging to conduct joint activities with the GHS/HPD.