Established by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative, Springboard, a global face-to-face and online platform that supports and nurtures regional communities of health communication practitioners, scholars and policy-makers was launched on Thursday in India.
Speaking at the launch Dr. Sanjanthi Velu, Director of Asia Programmes at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs said, “A large proportion of India’s health issues are preventable. It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The burden on our already overstretched health institutions at all levels can be greatly reduced with more innovative and coordinated health prevention efforts – jointly by us and all our partners.”
“There are great innovations in health promotion and disease prevention happening in different parts of India, from small villages and communities to towns and large metros. There is currently no forum for showcasing these ideas, sharing, discussing and learning from each other to improve, adapt, save time, effort and resources. Springboard is a welcome initiative that fulfils this need,” she added.
Dr. Sharmila Neogi from USAID said, “USAID is committed to promoting worldwide networks such as Springboard, for strengthening global communities of health professionals. We believe in networking and collaboration as critical elements for synergy and innovation.” she added.
The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is a five-year, global project funded by USAID. It is designed to strengthen developing country capacity to implement state-of-the-art social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs. Among the important health areas addressed by HC3 are: Family planning and reproductive health; Child survival; Maternal and child health; HIV and AIDS; Malaria, TB and other infectious and non-communicable diseases. The project also offers expertise in social and behavior change for gender equity; environment; and democracy and governance.
“Strengthening the capacity of local organizations is at the heart of HC3,” says Tawfique Jahan, Coordinator, Regional Springboard Secretariat HC3.
The project focuses on three levels: organizational, individual and national. HC3 supports skills strengthening for a wide variety of audiences, including program managers, journalists, video and radio producers, health workers and counselors, health education units and local government staff.
At the national level, HC3 can help local governments and key implementing partners design, update, or implement national health communication strategies to better coordinate ongoing efforts. HC3 will also engage a variety of partners including the private sector, the media and universities.
Dr. Nagesh Rao, Director, Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA), shared his thoughts about the usefulness of Springboard in the field in India. Springboard will serve as a one-stop shop for all health communication information, news, events, discussions and materials related strictly to India,” he said.
HC3 is led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHUCCP).