Human, Social Development: Behavioural Change, Rallying Point for Convergence, Says UNICEF

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kano

United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says for there to be progress towards achieving human an social development, behavioural change has become a rallying point around which many sectors can converge.

Maulid Warfa, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kano, said this during a two-day Forum on social and behavioural change communication for stakeholders in Kano.

According to him, behavioural change is key to achieving desired results in human and social development, whether in health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene.

“With this in mind, a social and behavior 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.

“And how to harmonize the various approaches for optimal results for the Nigerian child.

“Since social norms is 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.

He added that the proposed stakeholders will bring together key social and behavior change communication stakeholders from each of the sectors that UNICEF is currently supporting in Kano Field Office.

Warfa added that it is proposed that each sector should nominate five persons to represent key partners implementing social and behavior 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.

“Also, to explore possible areas of collaboration with other sectors. It is 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 said.

The Field Officer added that the general objective of the forum was to share experience on how the various sectors are approaching social and behavior change communication with a view to synthesizing, harmonizing and delivering as one in various communities.

According to him, “At the end of the forum, UNICEF is expecting the adoption of a convergent approach to social and behavior change communication across the sectors.

At the end of the meeting, Dr Rufus Eshuchi, the Manager Communication for Development in UNICEF Abuja 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 the overall human development and especially children and women” he said.

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