Behavior change communication in conflict zones: Program leads to improved breastfeeding and water treatment practices in Yemen
The World Bank
BY SIKANDRA KURDI AND SARAH EDWARDS
In the world’s most dangerous conflict zones, a child dies from extreme hunger every minute (Save the Children). Can nutrition education in these places help make a difference? Given the challenges of conducting research amid humanitarian crises, this remains a mostly open question. However, in areas not beset by conflict, research has found that behavior change communication (BCC) programs improve knowledge and practices around infant and child nutrition, leading to improved health. Community based, culturally appropriate BCC approaches have been found to be especially successful.
In a paper published in Maternal Child and Nutrition, we explored this research and policy gap, finding a child nutrition BCC intervention in Yemen amid the humanitarian crisis from 2015-2017 significantly improved breastfeeding and water treatment practices.
Photo credit: Yemen Social Fund for Development