Sponsored symposium: Strategic behaviour change approaches to optimize the impact of micronutrient interventions

In collaboration with the Micronutrient Initiative (MI)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2 June 2014
Micronutrient Forum Global Conference
Location: United Nations Conference Center (10:30 – 12:00, Room CR 2)

Scope and purpose

Behaviour Change Interventions (BCI) are a set of activities within a project or programme which are strategically designed and implemented to contribute to the process of changing behaviours, as a means of contributing to improved health outcomes. Interventions may focus on directly changing consumer and provider behaviours individually; creating an enabling environment through social and policy changes; improving access to appropriate health services; or a combination of all these approaches.

Effective behaviour change requires technical expertise, financial resources and a focused strategy which responds to the context. Creativity, innovation and a strong understanding of what motivates and influences target audiences are also among the key ingredients to creating and implementing responsive behaviour change intervention strategies. Identifying the appropriate target audiences, the specific change in behaviour desired for each audience and the most appropriate channels to reach a particular audience are also instrumental in designing a strategy.

The overall objective of this session is to inform the nutrition community with updated examples of successful behaviour change interventions systematically developed as an important component of a variety of micronutrient interventions.

In this session we hope to highlight the relevance of formative research and situation assessments and how these contributed to the design of responsive behaviour change interventions for the successful implementation of a variety of micronutrient interventions as public health programmes. We also want to present examples of the design and implementation of behaviour change interventions from different contexts that have drawn the principles of social marketing to target distinct audiences ranging from policy makers, private providers and caregivers to shift behaviour change.

Panelists will share examples of the tools and approaches that influenced the design, implementation and evaluation of innovative behaviour change strategies across diverse contexts.

Session chairs

  • Dr Francesco Branca, Director, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Dr Luz Maria De-Regil Director, Research and Evaluation & Chief Technical Advisor, Micronutrient Initiative, Ottawa, Canada


  • Best practices for effective health communication strategies in micronutrient interventions. Dr Claudia Parvanta, University of the Sciences, United States of America
  • Learning from 9 year scale up of the Iron Intensification Project in Nepal: How policy change enabled female community health volunteers to successfully distribute iron and folic acid for pregnant women in Nepal and increase coverage. Mr Macha Raja Maharjan, Micronutrient Initiative (MI), Nepal
  • Branding and positioning of zinc and oral rehydration salts (ORS) within behaviour change intervention strategies to improve coverage and adherence of zinc supplements and ORS for the management of diarrhoea. Mr Henock Gezahegn, Micronutrient Initiative (MI), Ethiopia
  • Designing and implementing behaviour communication interventions for improved adherence to different micronutrient interventions: lessons learnt. Dr Maria Elena del Socorro Jefferds, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States of America

The presentations will be followed by questions from the audience.