Whether he’s aware of his influence or not, almost every father in every culture influences his family’s choices about how to feed the children. His everyday decisions about how many of the eggs the family’s chickens lay will be sold at market and how many will be kept at home for the family to eat can make the difference between a stunted child and one who reaches his or her full growth potential.
An article in a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine sped throughout our organization, FHI 360. The surgeon and writer Atul Gawande wrote “Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t?” The e-mail traffic about this article made me curious about why the article itself was spreading so fast.
I love a tightly designed mass media product. It shows a discipline I admire. And I am also a true believer in the power of interpersonal and community communication.
In Viet Nam, Alive & Thrive could reach hundreds of thousands of people with interpersonal communication – but to reach millions, our country team determined that we needed mass media, primarily TV. Continue reading
The U.S. news was abuzz last week about a new study showing that 40 percent of American mothers feed their babies solid foods way too early.
Whose fault is that?
Over half of those moms said their doctor had told them to. Continue reading
As the U.S. turns to President Obama’s inauguration, we at Alive & Thrive reflect on what re-electing a U.S. president and promoting a health behavior may have in common:
Being precise about which behavior you need to promote
Obama’s door-to-door canvassing effort was clear in its behavioral objective. Rather than knocking all doors to persuade undecided voters to support Obama, volunteer canvassers were directed, through a carefully constructed database, to the homes of people who had already indicated they were pro-Obama. The behavioral objective was to make sure those likely Democrat voters would “go to the polls and vote.” Continue reading
With Alive & Thrive’s mandate to change infant and child feeding practices at scale in Bangladesh, a country of 150 million, mass media is a must. But in a thriving marketplace, we’re in fierce competition for our audience’s attention. Continue reading
One item in the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey’s (BDHS) preliminary report was surprising. For 15 years, rates of exclusive breastfeeding had remained steady, at about 43%. But in 2011, they detected a great leap upward to 64%. How do we explain this?
We can’t help but believe that a creative mass media campaign for better infant feeding played a role. Continue reading