Building Capacities for Communication Branding of Health Facilities

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Dhaara SeminarThe NHM, Uttar Pradesh, with technical support from UNICEF, developed a SBCC strategy to help in branding of RMNCH+A related services in the public health facilities. This strategy consisted a unique initiative, named Facility Branding  

Three key steps were followed to complete the Facility Branding exercise. These included:

I. A facility-level needs assessment exercise and development of a Facility Branding strategy to improve service uptake and functioning of public health facilities of Uttar Pradesh.

II. A community-level needs assessment to come up with a comprehensive analysis of barriers on the 12 prioritised behaviours under RMNCH+A.

III. Development of a RMNCH+A-based BCC package to be employed at all levels of public health facilities for effective communication between the service providers at the public health facilities and clients

Aim of Communication Branding for Health Facilities

  • To make public health facilities client- and community-friendly
  • To increase use of communication tools during service delivery for effective communication with the clients
  • To accelerate uptake of  services at public health facilities

The initiative was first piloted by UNICEF in five public health facilities in Lucknow district, in January 2015. These facilities included two district-level hospitals, one community health centre (CHC), one primary health centre (PHC) and one sub-centre.

Following encouraging results from the pilot, NHM, Uttar Pradesh scaled up the
Communication Branding of Health Facilities (or Facility Branding) initiative in 1,285 facilities (1,093 L2 facilities and 192 L3 facilities) across 75 districts in the state.

The Capacity Building Exercise

Dhaara SeminarPrior to the initiation of the capacity building exercise, UNICEF had developed Standard Operation Guidelines (SOG) on the communication package. The SOG document had all the details of communication branding materials as well as guidelines of their implementation. These included size, quantity, fonts, colour-coding and location of installation of various materials such as hoardings, boards and posters including other minute details.

NCIS utilised its understanding of the training methodologies and adult learning principles, from prior experience, and finalised the training module.

The training manual with six sessions was finalised in March, 2017 and used as the tool for the delivery of the training. Alongside, a Facilitator’s Guide for the master trainers, and training modules for training of district/ facility nodal officials and facility-based service providers/counsellors were also prepared. They were appropriately packaged to ensure that all the important issues were adequately covered and designed, with graphics and illustrations.
During these trainings all the tools of the “Facility Branding Package” were unpacked and simplified to ensure complete understanding, intended usage and outcomes.

The selection of the Master Trainers was done through a process of shortlisting CVs, a written test and a personal interview. The interviews specifically aimed at gauging the facilitation skills and prior experience of the master trainer by providing mock situations and observing their response to it.
Quality assurance and handholding support was provided by NCIS to 35 districts (46%). As part of the capacity building plan, two follow-up visits to each facility were undertaken, to ensure   proper usage of the communication package by the trained staff. This not only helped in recapitulation of training content facilitated during the training but also provided an opportunity to interact with the facility-level staff members who could not attend the training for various reasons, and provide them a brief overview of the training content.