Formative Research in India to Inform Behavior Change Communications Strategies

Title: Formative Research in India to Inform Behavior Change Communications Strategies
Principal Investigators: Andy Bhanot 
Timeline: May 2018 – December 2018

As part of its strategy in India, SHOPS Plus uses behavior change communication to increase demand for family planning and tuberculosis treatment products and services. Formative research in these areas has been used to identify key barriers and behavioral patterns around the use of these products and services, in order to inform the development of tailored communications messages.

Family Planning: The use of short acting contraceptive methods (e.g. condoms, pills) has been declining among young urban users in the lower socio-economic groups, and the unmet need for modern contraceptives is highest in this segment. The project aims to increase demand for short-acting contraceptive methods through a comprehensive behavior change communication campaign. The formative research was geared towards understanding patterns of contraceptive use, barriers to use, decision-making around family planning, and normative beliefs, to inform the development of mass media and digital campaigns, and workplace and community interventions.

Tuberculosis: Awareness about tuberculosis symptoms and standards for care are low, and stigma associated with tuberculosis is poorly understood or addressed. Poor health-seeking behaviors of individuals with tuberculosis symptoms leads to increased delays in diagnosis, worsening of symptoms and increased costs for care. The purpose of the formative research was to identify barriers, including that of stigma, associated with tuberculosis health-seeking behavior, standards for care, and treatment adherence. Findings were used to develop a mass media campaign in collaboration with the Central Tuberculosis Division of the Government of India.

Research Questions:
Family Planning: What are the key barriers to use of short-acting methods? What are current patterns of use and decision-making around family planning? What are the social normative beliefs, and the barriers and facilitators that shape attitudes and behavior?

Tuberculosis: What are the barriers (including stigma) to seeking care for tuberculosis, and to treatment adherence? What are the barriers to higher standards of care among providers?

Family Planning: SHOPS Plus conducted iterative in-depth interviews, ethnographic immersion or friendship pair interviews in Delhi, Dehradun, Raipur, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati.

Tuberculosis: SHOPS Plus worked closely with six partner organizations to conduct audience consultations using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with a sample of urban poor populations, health care providers and persons affected by TB including caregivers to persons with TB. The study was conducted across major Indian cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Status: Completed
Last updated: October 2020

Learn more about our work in Indiasocial and behavior change, family planning, and tuberculosis.

See other SHOPS plus studies. 



Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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