Keep Calm. Keep Walking. Carry On.

 

 

I saw this today in my Facebook feed (Courtesy of Canada Walks via PAHO) and knew I needed to share it. It’s based on the hugely popular “Keep Calm and Carry On”. The message is very simple and clear. The behavior is simple. Yet, getting people to talk more is not always simple.

I remember growing up in Dominica, walking was the norm. I walked every day from home to school, home to church, home to the market. We lived close enough to town that walking was easy.  Now, when I go back, everyone wants to take the bus or use the car. Who’s still walking?

So, go on a share this mantra. Keep Calm. Keep Walking. Carry On.

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CARIMAC students’ #Dntxtndrive Campaign 2012

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The Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) Social Marketing class 2012 this year for their final year project focused their energy on a campaign against texting and driving. Despite the lack of local empirical evidence to support the choice of the campaign, it was duly justified based on emerging evidence and policy regionally and worldwide. Trinidad and Tobago, for example has implemented a law against the use of cellular telephones while on the roads from as early as February 2011. The law states:

“No person shall drive or have charge of a motor vehicle on any road while holding or using a hand-held mobile device.”

and

“No person shall use a wireless communication device to view, send or compose an electronic message while driving or having charge of a vehicle.”

Breach of this regulation renders a person liable to a fine of $1,500 or three months imprisonment.

The campaign by the social marketing group therefore rightly claims to be proactive in calling attention to this issue in Jamaica. They launched a campaign aimed at heightening awareness and behaviour change (less texting and driving) targeted at students of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The campaign recently ended but there were a number of innovative ideas employed by the students in order to communicated their message.

1. The Chalkwalk

The students drew large images of their campaign logo and slogan #dntxtndrive using chalk. This was not only interesting for passers by after completion, but stimulated interaction with onlookers about the campaign message while the drawing took place.

2. The Walkabout

The students used a steering wheel to dramatically walk around the campus, bumping into people as they passed as a conversation starter about texting and driving.

3. The Flash Mob

A group of dancers partners partnered with the social marketing team to do a flashmob which would highlight the message to onlookers.

And there were other great activities as well including a window wash/wipe event in the university car park and a campaign song. I was impressed by the creativity and work put in by the class to attempt a successful campaign.

But, was the campaign successful? The evaluation suggested that there was only a 13% adaption of the behaviour (the target was 20%). The students have argued, however, that the campaign was implemented in less than 6 months and changing behaviour is a long term activity. Also, 13% is still a positive indicator (the campaign certainly did not cause the behaviour to change in a negative way).

This is a viable argument, however one cannot help but wonder if the students should have even tackled behaviour change to begin with, given the limited time for the campaign. Awareness raising and advocacy could have been a sufficient goal for the time frame. Also, there is the question of whether the University was the best place to target the campaign. How many UWI students drive and was the campaign targeted enough specifically at drivers on the campus?

On Monday, May 14 2012, the day after the evaluation presentation of the campaign by the students the Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies announced that persons who use mobile phones while driving will soon face fines, with the promulgation of new legislation by the end of 2012, which will make the practise illegal (view article). This cannot necessarily be directly attributed to the students’ campaign (unless Mr. Davies confirms :)) but it may have been influenced by the campaign. As such, a hearty congratulations to the students for raising awareness of this issue inside and outside of the walls of the University!

View the students’ presentation here.

The Epidemic and the Response: Caribbean Response to HIV Amidst Natural Disasters by Dr. Jean William Pape at 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference

The organizers of the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference have been uploading videos of the sessions on their Youtube page and I’ll be sharing a few more videos. In this one, Dr. Jean William Pape, Founder and Director of GHESKIO in Haiti discusses the organization’s response to the recent earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak. Although he does not mention explicitly the role of crisis communication within disaster response, you can clearly see the importance of having a strategic crisis communication plan. By about the 7:00 minute mark, he talks about GHESKIO’s response and outlines how they went about communicating with their patients, including setting up 24-hour phone lines and delivering calling cards, having a ‘correspondent’ serve as a link between the organization and patients, and through radio messages.

Communications for change: How to use text messaging as an effective behavior change campaigning tool

Produced by FrontlineSMS and Text to Change – February 2012

Available online at: http://bit.ly/GFFUR0 

SMS can be an extremely effective campaigning tool, helping to drive positive social change by increasing awareness of key issues and giving people the information they need to take their well- being into their own hands. SMS is ideal for these types of campaigns in many ways: it is immediate and intimate, coming straight to a device you carry with you most of the time. It works even in places where other digital communications channels fail; and, if received at the right time, it can provide an incredibly meaningful intervention. 

SMS can also be sent to many people at once, using aggregators and other service providers

However, getting SMS campaigns right is not simple. The right content, delivered at the right time in the right context, is critical. Adding the right kind of interaction to campaigns can make them more engaging, and increase their power in encouraging positive change. 

Case Study: http://bit.ly/GFG77h –FrontlineSMS and Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health

FrontlineSMS, an open source software for sending and receiving SMS (short message service), to provide a rapid prototype of a new mHealth service.

This service — called CycleTel™ — empowers women by providing them with accessible reproductive health information through SMS. CycleTel facilitates the use of the Standard Days Method® (SDM) of family planning, which is a simple fertility awareness-based method of family planning that teaches a woman to identify her fertile days each menstrual cycle and avoid unprotected sex on these days to prevent pregnancy.

By making this fertility information accessible via SMS, CycleTel helps women take charge of their reproductive health and use an effective family planning method. 

Text to Change
Text to Change sets up interactive SMS campaigns, together with NGOs and companies, focused on improving healthcare and education, stimulating economic development and creating awareness on environmental issues. Moreover, all basic phones are able to receive SMS.
To overcome the illiteracy barriers they make use of Interactive Voice Response services (IVR) as well.

• Text to Change: www.texttochange.com

• FrontlineSMS: www.frontlinesms.com 

Assessing the mobile environment:

Factors affecting the suitability of SMS and mobile for communicating with disaster-affected communities
http://bit.ly/GNPaAS 

 KMC/2012/ehealth
Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho

Recap on Thursday’s #esac tweet chat

Although eHealth and similar concepts have been in the lexicon for almost a decade, if not more, there seems to be increased emphasis on harnessing the use of new and emerging technologies in healthcare/medicine and in public health. Last week’s eSAC (Public eHealth Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean) tweet chat focused specifically on Public eHealth. As a participant in these chats, and someone looking to increase my knowledge of this area, I tried to get a clear definition (and examples) that differentiates ehealth from public health. Thanks @soroyajulian and @FelipeMejiaMedina for continuing to expand our understanding of these areas and how they are operationalized.

First:

https://twitter.com/#!/SoroyaJulian/status/162692742139490304

https://twitter.com/#!/SoroyaJulian/status/162692832925204480

As for examples:

https://twitter.com/#!/SoroyaJulian/status/162692742139490304

https://twitter.com/#!/FelipeMejiaMedi/status/162692713995710464

https://twitter.com/#!/FelipeMejiaMedi/status/162692485343232000

And finally:

https://twitter.com/#!/SoroyaJulian/status/162690874608852993

https://twitter.com/#!/FelipeMejiaMedi/status/162693044829831168

Below are a series of tweets that helps explain the two. Do you have anything else to add? Please share in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to join this week’s Tweet Chat at 7PM EST. Use #esac to follow and participate.