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Socialise to Immunise: boosting vaccination uptake through Facebook

In Myanmar's Kachin state only 54-60% of children under 2 years have received all basic vaccinations. However, the rates for individual vaccination of children is much higher, such as 91.2% for the BCG vaccine.[i] We know that vaccine hesitancy is a complex issue. The WHO identifies three main driving factors; confidence, complacency and convenience. Conventional methods to increase basic child vaccination rates, mostly target caregivers directly to increase people’s knowledge and thus change attitudes and behaviour. Our own research shows that social networks have a strong influence on immunisation behaviour.[ii] An important factor in this respect is the ‘social bandwagon effect’, meaning that caregivers do what everyone does, adhere to the social-cultural norm regarding vaccination, which can be to either follow or not follow the vaccination schedules. The slightest increase in uptake by influential individuals in a group leads to positive spillover in the wider community.[iii] Our Socialise to Immunise project will be piloting and testing an unconventional approach, using Facebook. This interactive approach, based on the premise that the social norm of vaccination behaviour is strongly influenced by peer pressure (social bandwagon), will involve and connect different stakeholders in the vaccination-demand process: caregivers, household decision-makers, community immunisation champions, community members, health care providers. This approach is innovative as it will trial a digital social network which simultaneously addresses the three driving factors as identified by WHO. This update shows how the first stages of the project are progressing and some learnings we are taking forward. [ii] Shi et al., Voluntary vaccination through self organizing behaviors on locally mixed social networks, Scientific Reports 7, 2017 (2665) [iii] Buttenheim AM, Asch DA. Behavioral economics: the key to closing the gap for MDGs 4 and 5? Maternal and child health journal 2013; 17 (4): 581-5 [i] Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey, 2015-2016

Humanitarian response to populations affected by violence in Konduga

A Christian Aid (CA) humanitarian response programme funded by the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations has reached more than 40,000 people affected by the conflict in Konduga area, within Borno State. Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are the major response areas which has targeted the most vulnerable persons. ECHO has empowered Christian Aid to support access to food for the most vulnerable persons in Konduga through cash based interventions. The food security response targeted 18,000 people through a cash transfer intervention to help the vulnerable access food. Those reached through food assistance are spread across five communities within Konduga Local Government Area, in Borno State.

No more harmful traditional practices: working with faith leaders

In 2017 a consortium of members of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) undertook a study funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), entitled ‘Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices'. The United Nations has defined harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as follows: Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them. Faith leaders are men and women recognised by their faith community, both formally or informally, as playing authoritative and influential leadership roles within faith institutions to guide, inspire or lead others (of faith). This may be within a formal religious hierarchy of accountability, but also includes informal movements. This report serves as a synthesis of the study findings.

Power analysis: A learning review

This learning review explores how power analysis is integrated in Christian Aid resilience programmes funded by CHASE and General PPAs 2011-2016.

PACS programme summary film

A final wrap up film of the Poorest Areas Civil Society programme in India, showing achievements and learnings.

Kenya: health governance (INTRAC) - a theory-based approach

Kenya is one of five country studies carried out as part of an organisational assessment of Christian Aid’s work on accountable governance.