The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is working in Nepal to increase modern contraceptive use among young married couples. Its work includes programs to promote increasing the couple’s age when they have their first child, improving the timing of family planning use after delivery and increasing the practice of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies (HTSP).
The Smart Couple campaign aims to reposition family planning through an understanding of this younger generation’s aspirations. Some of the questions the campaign attempts to answer for them are “does family planning help us reach our life goals?” and “how do we use family planning expertly?”
After pretesting in eight districts with almost 60 different respondents from various walks of life (ages 15-29 [literate/illiterate/ married/unmarried, with/out Child]), the team found that the term “Smart” had entered the local vernacular in Nepal and was associated with global thinking and new technology.
The campaign strives to reposition family planning among Nepal's young couples by using an aspirational, yet practical approach. It taps into their aspirations by answering questions such as "does family planning help us reach our life goals?" On the practical side, it focuses on decisions related to using the appropriate family planning method correctly based on the couple's life stage.
HC3 is focusing on national SBCC capacity strengthening of Nepal’s National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre (NHEICC), Family Health Division (FHD), and partners (private sector, INGOs, NGOs, universities) through a collaborative implementation, or ‘learning by doing,’ approach linked to the family planning SBCC campaigns. Capacity strengthening approaches include a mix of applied learning, mentoring, formal training, strengthening of existing and new institutional systems, better collaboration and coordination among partners to strengthen existing national SBCC capacity.
Campaign materials developed for television, radio and outdoor advertising address how couples could be “Smart” using optimal family planning timing.
The campaign also used social media, events and other community outreach activities.
A series of television ads promoted family planning by depicting various scenarios based on a couple's stage in life.
Contacts and referrals among eligible couples have steadily increased since the campaign’s launch in the 13 districts. In addition, contact points data show increases over time as well.