USAID Health Promotion and Communication Project (HealthPRO)

Overview

The Health Promotion and Communication Project (HealthPRO) was USAID’s lead vehicle for providing technical assistance in health promotion and communication to the Philippine Department of Health (DOH), local government units (LGUs), and other collaborating institutions in promoting and sustaining healthy and health-seeking behaviors related to maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition; family planning, TB, and HIV/AIDS.  For five years, HealthPRO worked closely with the DOH and the Commission on Population (POPCOM) at the central level and with 30 LGUs, 11 regional health departments, 19 NGO partners, and 405 community-based organizations at the regional, provincial, and municipal levels. HealthPRO:

  1. Designed research-oriented, evidence-based, and culturally appropriate BCC programs and activities;
  2. Developed plans to extend the reach and impact of BCC interventions, especially to remote and less-developed areas;
  3. Developed, on a sustainable basis, the institutional capacity of government and nongovernmental agencies to plan and carry out high-impact behavior change communication (BCC) interventions; and
  4. Assisted USAID’s health partners and others to leverage resources, scale-up activities, and maximize their efforts in health promotion and LGU development.

Key Activities

  • Creating environments that will support BCC by working with DOH, LGUs, and other partners to enhance their capacities to plan, manage, and finance public health BCC programs and to maximize their impact and sustainability. Community-level advocacy seeks to increase BCC activities and resources and encourage people to visit health facilities.
  • Mobilizing communities to create positive, supportive social norms through health classes, group counseling, and community health events, training LGUs to work with local media to support BCC, and materials development and dissemination.
  • Enhancing client-provider interactions by training population officers, health care providers, and community volunteers on interpersonal communication and counseling and by increasing client access to information.
  • Introducing innovative BCC approaches and channels to disseminate key health messages and motivate actions. Such interventions included:
    • Using social marketing within closed social circles for HIV/AIDS prevention;
    • Using an interactive voice response system on safe motherhood;
    • Providing health information and basic health services to isolated and disadvantaged communities through a health caravan; and
    • Setting up and linking “forum” community theater plays with health classes, health information materials, and referrals to services.
  • Demonstrating how to segment “markets” (i.e., population groups) and target communication to improve individual behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge.
  • Building local capacity through BCC planning; enhancing the communication infrastructure of the DOH and local counterparts; training and curricula development; fostering health sector participation, including public-private partnerships; empowering local community and social networks to take an active role in BCC; and monitoring and evaluation.

Achievements

Together with national and local partners, HealthPRO:

  • Developed 25 provincial and one regional level BCC and sustainability plans by working with LGU staff to translate local data into communication plans;
  • Provided technical assistance and training to assist 19 local NGO partners implement communication interventions;
  • Assisted the DOH and LGUs in developing and implementing a marketing strategy to scale up and reposition the national child health initiative, Garantisadong Pambata, develop family planning and safe motherhood campaigns; and craft a communication and image-building campaign for the DOH of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao;
  • Trained over 4900 health service providers and population officers and over 35,000 barangay health workers in interpersonal communication and counseling;
  • In response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM), launched MSM outreach program, “SMS4MSM,” through mobile phones and communication materials in Quezon City, reaching over 32,000 MSM;
  • Trained more than 600 health professionals to craft health messages for the media, prepare inspiring stories, and handle media interviews;
  • Improved the skills of 250 local media professionals in health reporting;
  • Supported the DOH in launching Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan, a health caravan that brought family health information and services to more than 44,000 men, women, and children in hard-to-reach areas;
  • Leveraged almost $2.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions from both the private and public sectors for the reproduction of communication materials, the broadcasting of TV and radio spots, the roll-out of LBK, health classes, health events, and IPC/C training.
Duration
2007 to 2012
Funders 
US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Regions/ Countries 
Geographic Scope 
30 provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao