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Leveraging existing resources with bottom-up storytelling workshops for impactful healthcare engagement.

Photo of Claudia Barcha Diaz
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

Translating data into information that caregivers resonate with through impactful stories co-created with local communities.

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

The major challenges are how might we close the discrepancy between information and perception surrounding immunization and how can we enable actions with effective storytelling. The opportunity lies in utilizing the existing trust systems within the local community and creating informative feedback loops as success metrics and for the continuance of the project. The children will directly benefit from an immunization coverage on a larger scale. But more importantly, the caregivers will be empowered with trustworthy information through the media they are used to and comfortable with. The real value in our storytelling approach is using co-creation workshops to understand how the information flows within the local community and locate the exact points to intervene. The process starts with three major players - authoritative influencers, users/caregivers and healthcare providers - entering a storytelling workshop. The objective is first to understand the primary sources of information for caregivers and second to creative personable stories that other caregivers will easily relate to. In the next step, these stories will be dispersed through the best channels, whether it’s WhatsApp messages or word of mouth, but with clear, traceable calls to action. Feedback loops will be created to inform future workshops if necessary by collecting data from new caregivers entering the system.

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • South-eastern Asia

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Our framework is focused on serving the immunization challenges in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh in India where, despite an increase in efforts, more than 39% children between age 12 - 23 months fall behind the immunization schedule.

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

The immunization challenge in Ghaziabad is largely attributed to the lack of awareness about the benefits of immunization, myths and fears of adverse effects and culture and community driven resistance. Our framework is designed for primary caregivers (for eg. mothers), direct and indirect decision makers (for eg. fathers, senior members of a joint family system) and community leaders (for eg. temple priests, local politicians and influential landlords). Born and brought up in India, our team member John Yohan has a strong exposure to Ghaziabad through his experience as a rural marketing strategist. His professional connections with members of the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ program will be a strong asset in realizing our framewor

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

Thinking out of the box of traditionally top-down healthcare engagement, we adopt a human centered design approach to locate pertinent pain points and uncover the insights from the users themselves. What is really stopping them from using the service? Is it the mentality? Or can it simply be the logistics? Our intent is to create value by utilizing existing resources and infrastructures. The opportunities lie more in the undiscovered than the unexploited. By implementing this storytelling framework, ideally we will avoid being stuck in assumptions and enable purpose-driven information flow. A demand for updated information is a secondary benefit but will empower the community in the long haul broader than the frame of healthcare.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

A six-month timeline is expected to implement the idea and effect significant change.

Organization Name (less than 140 characters)

Parsons School of Design-School of Design Strategies (SDS).

Type of Submitter

  • We are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

Organizational Characteristics

  • University

Organization Location (less than 140 Characters)

New York, United States

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

Overview of How Your Concept Has Evolved (5-6 sentences):

By testing our concept with industry experts with experience in the target area, we realized the complexity of the local customs and the power dynamics. This informed the flexibility in our updated framework - focusing on the structure of information flow instead of the content - which will make the strategy scalable to other types of medical services and/or locations. We were inspired by “flip the paradigm in global health” to frame the challenge within a system and effect habitual change by closing behavioral discrepancies. Facilitators, the direct users of our framework and a crucial bridge for our theory of change, are expected to celebrate “positive deviance”, behaviors against social norms but are expected to bring positive influence.

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

Despite the alternative to provide consulting services in the field, training facilitators and interviewing for example, we decided that an open source platform will realize the maximal systemic impact. We allow all people and NGOs to get access to this toolkit. Their feedback is expected to keep the concept relevant and help sustain the strategy.

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

We talked to industry professionals with field experience to better understand the logistical and cultural barriers for successful engagement. We have thus iterated and improved our framework based on their feedback to make it more adaptable to local communities whatever the social norms/customs. The answers to changing behaviors lie deeply within the community. Our strategy is to discover these answers.

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

We see the facilitators from NGOs as the users of our strategy. In order to address issues with urgency and effect behavioral change, we adopt a human centric methodology and dive deeper into social psychology. We are leveraging collective beliefs, peer pressure, misused information network and shared behaviors to create relatable stories. The inexplicable nuances in these stories will gradually impact existing norms through empathy and resonance.

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

In order to guarantee the effectiveness or the basic functionality of the strategy, we need the help of the community members. Based on our research, the biggest challenge lies in helping the community recognize the urgency of a lack of immunization. In our target community, the transmission of knowledge is story driven, which is why we designed the storytelling framework for successful engagement.

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

Inspired by Donella Meadow’s system intervention model, we intend to provide a space to collect information in a structured and decentralized mechanism in order to make information flow and verify assumptions. The value is expected to go beyond immunization access and reach full potential when caregivers are empowered to be proactive and understand their choices. Our timeline is stretched from behavioral change in the short term (one to six months) to mindset transformation in the long term, through consistent iterations of the strategy.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Daniel Mathon

Hi Claudia Barcha Diaz - I like the idea of using storytelling as a tool. The geographic target mentioned is rather focused. Do you foresee anything preventing this from being scalable to other, broader regions?

Photo of Estela Kennen

I want to piggyback on Daniel's comment. This seems like a neat idea -- but also potentially requiring a lot of time, logistics, and expertise to reproduce in different areas. How to make it affordably transferable and scalable? Looking forward to seeing how you guys progress! Good luck!

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Claudia Barcha Diaz can you share a little bit about who you would enlist as partners to launch this project?

Photo of Marichu Carstensen

Hi interesting idea, who will communicate with the caregivers? Are they good communicators? Who trains them? Will they be interesting enough to listen to? I suggest you form a training committee so that they can constantly relate to their listeners or audience with great clarity.
Best regards,