Social communication campaigns for behavioural change are being prepared in Mali, Burkina-Faso and Niger. The strategies adopted are specific to each country according to the needs identified, the feasibility of the various approaches envisaged and the timetable for launching products on the market.
These campaigns will aim to promote appropriate feeding practices identified as priorities following the contextual studies conducted at the beginning of the project, and in accordance with national nutrition policies in the three countries. They will primarily target women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as parents of children aged 6 to 24 months. “We are developing complementary approaches in order to maximise the impact of these campaigns on behavioural changes among the project’s target group leading to a quality, diversified and balanced diet. For example, we hope – via the mass media component – to reach a wider range of people who directly influence beneficiaries’ dietary practices, such as husbands or close family members. In Mali and Burkina-Faso, we are currently preparing short films on appropriate feeding practices for pregnant and breastfeeding women and links with health. These films will be broadcast nationally,” explains Martial Pouret, Director of the Meriem project. In addition, the project also includes a community-based approach aiming at directly raising awareness among influential people in the target neighbourhoods (leaders of associations, health workers, neighbourhood leaders, etc.), pregnant and breastfeeding women and their husbands, and parents of children aged 6 to 24 months.
These social communication campaigns for behavioural change are an integral part of the Meriem project. They will promote quality food for women and young children and thus increase understanding of the value of products with high nutritional value and their role in a balanced and diversified diet. In addition, combining these campaigns with improvement of the available supply of these products on the market makes it possible to maximise the adoption of better dietary practices, thus constituting a powerful lever for action in the fight against malnutrition