Revolutionizing behavior change communication
What if there was a way to empower communities to develop and produce their own education programs to directly influence health behavior?
PATH’s Projecting Health approach, also known as Digital Public Health, focuses on community-led use of digital media to reach families, friends, and neighbors with health education messages, effectively improving health knowledge and behaviors. The approach equips communities with basic skills and low-cost tools for creating and sharing videos that translate into real-time behavior change.
Communities develop, act in, and produce educational videos that address pressing health issues. Local health workers share the videos via low-cost, portable projectors and other mobile devices during mothers’ group meetings. Mobile phones and YouTube allow the videos to be shared further with family members and friends, giving the videos—and their often lifesaving messages—even greater reach.
Community-led videos that improve health
By providing community members with new tools for effectively promoting healthy behaviors and mobilizing communities to improve maternal and child health outcomes, PATH’s approach is shifting the driving force for change from health experts to the community.
A familiar face—and a lifesaving message
In Uttar Pradesh, PATH is using the model to help communities save the lives of their vulnerable mothers and infants. Community members have developed and starred in videos on a variety of relevant health topics, including breastfeeding, birth preparedness, immunizations, and family planning. Including familiar faces in the videos helps to build trust.
The approach also empowers health workers by providing them with tools and training so they can promote healthy behaviors with increased accuracy, ease, and effectiveness.
Visit PATH’s YouTube channel to explore the latest community-produced videos from India.
The way forward
PATH envisions establishing Projecting Health as a platform across health areas.
Health programming in immunization, reproductive health, nutrition, HIV prevention, and water and sanitation, for example, could easily incorporate the Projecting Health approach to achieve wide-scale adoption of healthy behaviors. PATH, the University of Washington, and local partners are actively working to bring the model to more communities and countries worldwide.
When communities drive their own messaging, they magnify the power of persuasion among their peers, accelerating the adoption of healthy behaviors that can save the lives of women and children.
- Projecting Health fact sheet
- Technology Update: Projecting Health
- Projecting Health Case Studies: Empowering local health workers
For more information, please contact Kiersten Israel-Ballard (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Projecting Health has been supported through contributions from private foundations and individuals to the Health Innovation Portfolio at PATH, from Digital Green through an award from the UK Department for International Development, from the National Science Foundation, and from the University of Washington Department of Computer Science and Engineering.