The development of a group of people is said to be in their own hands and the key driver of this assertion is Behavior Change. Behavior change communication (BCC) has therefore become very important in achieving WASH sector policy and strategic objectives. In Ghana, there are some stories of successful attempts of WASH BCC strategy implementation. However, there more stories of some failed attempts.
This came to light during a breakout session, “Driving behavior change for sustainability and health”, which was one of the main focus areas at the Safe Water Networks’s “Beyond the Pipe” workshop in Accra on 20th March, 2013. This session identified some basic steps in achieving effective WASH behavioral change communication objectives. Presenting on behalf of the session,Mr Kweku Quansah of the Environmental Health Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (EHSD/MLGRD) stated that to achieve WASH BCC objectives the following must be observed by all change agents and organizations:
Observe cultural norms and customs of the target communities. That is , getting to know the people and what works for them;
- Implement strategies through community leadership to ensure effective mobilization of members for effective BCC programmes
- Motivate BCC training agents using sustainable means that are appropriate for the local context;
- Clearly map out rural verses urban settings with specific programmes for the most appropriate models and activities;
- Community entry is very critical and must be done through the appropriate structures like the District Assemblies and Local Councils; and
- Commitment of service providers was identified as very essential and needs to be sustained.
The other sessions focused on economics and finance; appropriate technologies;enabling policy environment; and stimulating local capacity for sustainability.
The one day forumwas organized by Safe Water Network with the support of RCN Ghana; and sponsored by the Conrad Hilton Foundation.