Maulid Warfa, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF’s) Chief of Field Office in Kano, has described behavioural change as key to achieving progress in all spheres of human and social development; be it in the areas of health, nutrition, or water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Warfa stated this Tuesday while speaking at a two-day Forum on social and behavioural change communication for stakeholders held in Kano. He said behavioral change was key to achieving the desired results of all human and social development campaigns, adding that, “behavioural change iss not only a recurring decimal but also a rallying point around which progress across all sectors could be realised.”
“With this in mind, the social and behavioral change communication forum is proposed to discuss the current approaches to community mobilization, social and behavior change communication by the various sectors that UNICEF Kano Field Office is supporting. Since social norms are part of human behavior in the society, the forum will also look at prevalent social norms in the states under the Kano Field Office and proffer suggestions on how to address them,” he said.
Warfa added that the stakeholders’ forum will have as members key social and behavioral change communication stakeholders from each of the sectors that UNICEF is currently supporting, through the Kano Field Office. He therefore proposed that each sector nominated five persons to represent key partners implementing social and behavioral change communication activities.
“One of such persons will be expected to share a 10-minute presentation on their current strategies for community mobilization, lessons learnt, challenges encountered, and those challenges that have been addressed. And to explore possible areas of collaboration with other sectors, I proposed that out of the five persons to be nominated by each sector, at least two, should come from each of the states the Field Office is currently supporting. In addition to these five, at least one Programme Manager, Specialist Officer from each of UNICEF’s sections is expected to participate and support in synthesizing ideas for convergence and integration,” he proffered.
Warfa said the general objective of the forum was to share experience on how the various sectors were approaching social and behavior change communication with a view to synthesizing, harmonizing and delivering as one in various communities. “At the end of the forum, UNICEF is expecting the adoption of a convergent approach to social and behavior change communication across the sectors.”
Also speaking at the forum, Dr Rufus Eshuchi, Communication for Development Manager at UNICEF Nigeria, reassured participants of UNICEF’s continued engagement with key stakeholders including the media, to advance the cause of children. “The achievement of positive behaviour change takes the collective efforts and contributions of all and I trust we are on course to drive and achieve the desired objective for overall human development and especially that of children and women,” he said.
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