Research by Fe Espino at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on dengue prevention in the Philippines shows how community trust is vital to the success of behaviour change programs. In 2010, the number of dengue cases in the Philippines rose from 37,101 in 2006 to 118,868. Dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes which are born in still water. Due to water shortages, households are forced to store water throughout the year. Espino’s research team engaged the local Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) to introduce a household water container management system to control dengue in 2 communities in Massagna City in metro Manila.
In both village ‘A’ and ‘B’, BHWs were trained to teach households to inspect water containers for immature mosquitoes. An instructional guide was provided along with a container management checklist, collected during monthly visits. The team also provided a video of dengue control techniques. Village A, however, encountered many problems and there was a poor response to the program. In Village B participants reported not only that the visits made residents more aware of dengue control, but they were more inclined to take action. Although behaviour change results have not yet been reported, it appears the difference is that the BHWs in Village B were more active and more trusted by the community. This shows that when engaging change agents, it’s important to understand both how the community feels about them and how they feel about their community.
Posted in Research, Strategy
Tagged Asia, behavior, capacity, change agents, community health worker, dengue, environment, health, Philippines, preventive
With all the discussion on nonprofit partnerships with the private sector, a Greenpeace campaign on Procter & Gamble reminds us that the corporation can also be the target of behaviour change campaigns. You may be familiar with P&G’s wildly popular video ‘’Thank You Mom’’, released for the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Greenpeace has released a provocative spoof, “Hidden Truth“. While P&G were advertising their support for mothers, the devastating Greenpeace video shows how deforestation is orphaning many orangutan in Indonesia.
According to Greenpeace, companies like P&G can be linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest to enable development of palm oil plantations. P&G buys palm oil to make personal care products like ‘Head n Shoulders’ shampoo. Destruction of their rainforest habitat in Indonesia endangers the orangutan. Indonesia loses forest at rate of more than nine Olympic swimming pools every minute with forest destruction for palm oil as the biggest driver. Greenpeace is pushing P&G to make a ‘No Deforestation’ commitment and to use only forest friendly palm oil. Both films use emotion to powerful effect, it’s up to the viewer to decide what action to take.
Posted in Ideas, Strategy
Tagged Asia, behavior, business, children, climate, conservation, creative, disruption, environment, Greenpeace, Indonesia, Procter@Gamble
Mobile phones and other smart devices are helping us solve major public policy problems by providing direct personalised access to information. However according to the UNEP, the amount of e-waste being produced – including mobile phones and computers – could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade in some countries. In the making of computer equipment a lot of plastics, metals, chemicals and packaging are used. And our use of these products requires power and produces electronic waste.
Some companies are responding the call to help prevent e-waste get out of control. Apple has launched “Better”, a short video narrated by CEO Tim Cook promoting the company’s efforts to reduce the impact of its business practices on the environment. For example, over the years Apple has reduced the amount of power their computers use. In 1998 the original iMac used 35w of energy in sleep mode. Now the latest model only uses 0.9w. Apple uses more environmentally friendly materials, including mercury free displays, PVC free power cords, arsenic free glass and lead free solder. Items like iTunes Gift cards and iPhoto products use recycled or at least recyclable material.
Other efforts to deal with the e-waste problem include the Phonebloks initiative to build a modular smartphone. This means broken or old parts can be replaced one-by-one rather than buying a whole new phone. Although these are important advances, companies will need to work with governments to support these technologies with behaviour change programs. This includes convincing people to recycle and making sure they have the facilities to do so.