GAIN Working Paper Series 31: Creating Moments with Mothers

GAIN Children and Young People Programme Team
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

Improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices is key for reducing the high burden of malnutrition in Mozambique. This working paper describes the application of the Behaviour Centred Design (BCD) framework to develop the ‘Moments with Mothers’ campaign, an intervention to improve IYCF practices supporting pregnant women, mothers, and other caregivers in Nacala Porto and Mossuril, Nampula province.  The BCD approach focuses on the emotional drivers of behaviour, rather than knowledge, to promote behaviour change. The framework’s five-step process – Assess, Build, Create, Deliver, and Evaluate – was used to conduct a situation analysis, develop a theory of change, identify key behavioural determinants, and implement the project. The core of the project is a series of activities called Emo Demos (short for emotional demonstrations). The emo demos brought mothers together and used games, song and dance, group discussions, and talks to promote early breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth, optimal complementary feeding practices, and improved hand washing techniques. These were adapted from a project implemented by GAIN and partners in Indonesia and bolstered by a communications campaign and community mobilisation activities. An evaluation conducted after the 100-day pilot found that participants appreciated spending time with their peers gaining contextually relevant knowledge and skills that were valuable for their families and communities. The lessons learned from this pilot project and the earlier work in Indonesia informed the scale-up of the approach in Nampula province and its testing in Tanzania. 

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The key messages contained in this paper are: 

  • BCD is an imaginative and provocative approach to behaviour change, which taps into less evolved, more reflexive motivations and reinforces learning.
  • GAIN and partners applied this approach to devise and pilot a three-pillar IYCF intervention: a communications strategy and campaign; interpersonal communication; and community mobilisation.
  • The results of the pilot implementation illustrated that using surprise and other fundamental human emotions, like love and disgust, provoke interest that can facilitate learning and engagement.
  • Women who took part in the intervention felt that they were spending time with their peers doing something important and valuable for them, their families, and communities: building confidence, breaking down myths, and gaining strategies to advocate for their needs and those of their babies. 


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