Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good stuff from AED - advocacy guidelines and participatory research on AI

New tools from AED...

Advocating for Change: Raising Awareness for Avian Influenza

"The objective of this guide is to reach individuals, communities, and organisations working to advocate for public health awareness of avian influenza. The guide provides an overview of the advocacy process and its components - from planning and information gathering, to evaluating success - and suggests strategic activities and messages that can be used to reach different audiences. It can be used by organisations of any size."

Participatory Action Research on Avian Flu Communication

"This summary report and recommendations reflects the findings of participatory action research conducted by UNICEF and the Academy for Educational Development on avian flu in six communities - one urban/periurban community and one rural community in three locations: Burkina Faso, Lagos State Nigeria, and Kano State Nigeria. Five key findings emerged from the research:

* Chickens are more important for food security than they are for food. For example, in Burkina Faso families use income from selling chickens to purchase foodstuffs, especially grain, and to purchase seed and agricultural implements at the beginning of the planting season.
* Chickens play a critical role in rituals and social ceremonies. People do not identify possible alternatives to poultry in religious and other cultural practices. Reminding people that avian flu can threaten their ceremonies may motivate them to engage in preventive behaviours.
* Community knowledge about how avian flu is transmitted is low. Community members have many different ideas about the source of avian flu infection.
* Some of the recommended behavioural interventions - "Report, Separate, Wash, and Cook" - are not feasible in communities where enabling factors are absent. This research confirmed the difficulty of changing practices to prevent and control avian flu in poultry. Reducing human exposure to infection will also be challenging, especially if people are unaware of the risks.
* Strategic use of a mix of mass media and interpersonal channels will be most successful in reaching people and persuading them to change behaviours. Mass media messages can quickly reach large numbers of people but must be realistic and practicable in the local context. They also need to be complemented by interpersonal communication from trusted sources in the community.

Several key recommendations, based on the above findings, are noted in the report."

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