Project Ujjwal

Reducing maternal deaths in India

Recognizing a need for improved reproductive health services in India, Project Ujjwal sought to increase demand, access and quality of family planning services available in the Indian states of Bihar and Odisha. The two-year program was designed to support the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s commitment to improve maternal health and child survival. The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs led efforts to generate demand for family planning services.

CCP reached out to poor, young and socially excluded couples, women and men in hard to reach regions to help them overcome barriers to uptake of modern contraceptives and connect them to quality health facilities.

Ujjwal’s Approach

Through a 360-degree “surround and engage” approach, Ujjwal launched a comprehensive social marketing campaign. The campaign used a mix of mass media, interpersonal communication and digital health tools to generate demand for family planning. The project developed their awareness, motivated behavior change and linked young men, women and married couples to a network of Ujjwal Clinics. Young couples were given information using a life-stage approach. Through this approach, reproductive health and family planning information is tailored to help couples overcome social, cultural and economic barriers. Couples were encouraged to seek information, gain knowledge and choose a suitable, modern contraceptive method such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or an injectable contraception to avoid unintended pregnancy, and learned about spacing pregnancies to achieve desired family size.

Among the successes:

  • Developed a branding strategy and established a network of Ujjwal clinics. In rural and urban areas, Ujjwal placed branded materials at clinics, social marketing outlets and in public spaces.
  • Created an android-based mobile application called Gyan Jyoti (“light of knowledge”). Community health workers were able to use the app to access persuasive and motivational films for counseling support and self-learning. Gyan Jyoti also collected usage data in real time to provide valuable information to program teams.
  • Implemented 6,800 live and video-based Entertainment-Education shows. The shows reached 1.33 million unique viewers across Bihar and Odisha. Following the shows, both private and public health facilities saw an increase in use of modern contraception methods.






Implementing Partners

Palladium (prime); Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust; Public Health Foundation of India

Capacity Strengthening, Digital, Entertainment Education, Family Planning, India, Past, Social and Behavior Change