Capacity Building Package 2: Building Up Grassroots Support for Population Policies and Programmes
Forming broad coalitions of support for population programmes is
fundamental to their ultimate success. Once an agreed upon plan of action is
launched, the major players - the relevant government agencies and ministries
(eg. health and welfare, education, population, environment and resources, etc),
along with influential parliamentarians, religious leaders, leading NGOs,
community groups and the private sector - should decide on a strategy for
building widespread support for the programme. It is essential to involve local
community groups and women's organizations from the very beginning.
1. All major players should meet and agree on a national IEC
strategy for building public support for the country's population programme.
Such a strategy should include all major media - radio, television, the print
media, the specialist press, NGO information networks (including religious
publications), and local indigenous activities such as dramas, festivals and
special community events.
2. Workshops and seminars should be held on the links between
population, resources and the environment. National and local press coverage of
these events should be organized. Community leaders should be invited to attend
and participate actively.
3. Messages, especially those concerning reproductive health and
family planning, should be carefully targeted for different groups of
prospective users, for example, adolescents, young married couples, working
mothers, single parents, etc.
4. Information and education activities aimed at increasing
family planning acceptance should be aimed at a broad cross-section of society,
including unions, the workplace, employer federations, secondary schools,
universities, professional associations, religious orders, community groups,
5. Regular meetings should be held with influential
parliamentarians, religious leaders and community leaders in different parts of
the country. The aim is to determine how best to continue building working
coalitions in support of population activities. It is important that women's
viewpoints are heard in such meetings.
6. IEC campaigns should be evaluated periodically by the
government and its partners and inadequacies