There are problems in Radio UserLand (the vendor for my other blog), so the full SMN [with links to the original articles] is here today.
Selling the Hard Truth: Social Marketing Comes of Age in Kenya
Due to Kenya's central proximity to most of the biggest global social and health issues that affect the human race today, such as HIV/Aids, malaria, tuberculosis and domestic violence, the local advertising industry is emerging as one of the world's hotspots for developing effective social marketing campaigns to be used throughout sub-Saharan Africa in fighting these problems.
Social marketing in Kenya has not just been restricted to resolving the public health crisis. It has formed a very important tool in changing the societies [sic] attitudes to a dubious, but nevertheless, a time-honoured practice of wife beating in Kenya. An award-winning campaign for Coalition Against Violence (Covaw) did ground breaking television work that has helped educate women and men against this practice.
A similar campaign against child abuse created for World Vision won industry accolades. During the last General Elections the Electoral Commission also sponsored a major campaign touching on a range of issues from campaign violence, tribal tolerance, voter bribing, general civic education and at some pointed a very pointed rebuke against voting in corrupt politicians in the last regime.
Children Just Do Not Have to Die
A simple $3 insecticide-treated mosquito net for every African child, for example, could reduce overall child mortality rates by 20 per cent by protecting against malaria, the number-one killer of children in Africa. The net works as a barrier between the body and mosquitoes that carry malaria. By protecting against malaria, insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce African child mortality by one fifth.
Even when they are available, these nets are beyond the means of the average African family, yet some donors recommend selling them under an approach known as "social marketing." However, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the UN Secretary-General's special adviser on the MDGs, argues that they should be heavily subsidized or given away free. "Mothers and children are dying of a completely preventable disease because we are trying to sell bed nets. Let me urge the end of social marketing today."
"When a family is too poor to pay cash for the net, committee members accept bartered goods, such as maize or groundnuts as payment," noted Mr. Evance Chambakata, chairman of the Chatowa village committee. "We feel very proud because we are helping to save lives."
Women’s Rights are Human Rights
Current projects funded under [the] European Initiative for Democratisation and Human Rights (EIDHR) include the STOP Female Genital Mutilation campaign, an international campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation, which has received nearly €1 million of Commission funding over the last two years. This excellent initiative has launched an international appeal for the eradication of female genital mutilation, signed by 25,000 people, including Nobel prize winners.
Many of our projects against female genital mutilation take place in countries of sub-Saharan Africa. But the practice is also highly prevalent in Egypt (97% of married women of reproductive age). The Commission is funding a project for children at risk, providing family outreach, social marketing and communication and community service initiatives. The human rights section of Egypt’s European Neighbourhood Action Plan will also include a commitment to dealing with harmful traditional practices.
Kenya: Social Marketing Possibly Yielding Aids Success
Social marketing campaigns to promote behaviour change may be responsible for Kenya's reduced HIV/AIDS infection rates, according to Warren Buckingham, the US resident global AIDS coordinator.
Although it was unknown how much social marketing and behaviour-change campaigns had contributed to the decline, Buckingham noted there was evidence that more people were using condoms and delaying the onset of sexual activity.