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.
Through a 360-degree “surround and engage” approach, a comprehensive social marketing campaign was implemented using a mix of mass media, interpersonal communication and digital health tools. The campaign generated demand for family planning by developing awareness and motivating behavior change and linking young men, women and married couples to a network of Ujjwal Clinics. Relevant information was shared with young couples using a life-stage approach, in which reproductive health and family planning information is tailored to help them overcome their immediate 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. Branded materials were placed at all clinics, social marketing outlets and in public spaces in both rural and urban areas.
- Created an android-based mobile application called Gyan Jyoti (“light of knowledge”), which provided community health workers access to persuasive and motivational films for counseling support and self-learning while collecting 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, the both private and public health facilities saw an increase in use of modern contraception methods.