Tulodo’s Nick Goodwin and Irma Martam attended the recent Social Marketing Conference, hosted by the University of South Florida. Irma was the recipient of the conference’s prestigious Fostering Equity Scholarship and attended the pre-conference Training Academy with social marketing practitioners and researchers from around the world.
Nick’s plenary presentation focused on the use of change agents – including community health workers, peer educators, opinion leaders and sales agents – in social and behaviour change programs. Change agents can remove barriers to change and increase the rate of the diffusion of new behaviours. Different to traditional top-down approaches, the use of change agents can make social marketing more personal and enhance empowerment and capacity building. Engaging change agents can promote and support individuals who assume responsibility for community improvement, seek new knowledge and skills, and actively engage and recruit others. Mobile and social technologies open up new ways to engage change agents, enabling mass personalisation and scaling up impact. Nick’s presentation drew upon Tulodo’s latest work and his research, including in Indonesia on health programs; globally on clean cooking interventions; and on alcohol harm initiatives in Australia.