One of IDF's basic challenges is communicating effectively with members of marginalized and excluded communities who are in many cases illiterate. IDF projects therefore use a range of appropriate information, education, and communication (IEC) materials as a primary tool for conveying the chosen message using clear and simple visual media. The IECs are often developed by community members themselves as part of the intervention, providing the added benefit of community participation and a subsequent sense of ownership.
IDF uses its expertise to produce different materials tailored to the range of issues and situations its projects address. A sampling appears below. If you are interested in learning more about these and our other IEC materials, please contact us.
Flip chart aids fight against kala azar
With support from CAF India, IDF created a simple but comprehensive flip chart to educate the lowest and most deprived sections of the community in north Bihar villages about kala azar (black fever). Developed for use in group health education sessions, the flip chart vividly illustrates how an individual contracts the disease, describes its symptoms, presents the diagnosis and treatment plan, and demonstrates essential prevention methods. It has proved an extremely effective educational tool, and it has now been officially adopted by the Bihar state health department, which has committed to promoting it throughout the state with the goal of eliminating kala azar completely. The first panel and overlays from the flip chart are shown below.
Wall writing boosts children's activism
"Only when children take part in Gram Sabha will the reality of a developed village materialize."
Wall writings are a traditional and effective way of reaching out to the entire community. In this case the message is promoting children's rights and activism, urging young people under 18 to participate in panchayat-level meetings.
Pictures and a mirror: an easy tool for anemia self-diagnosis
||Anemia, caused by an iron deficiency in the diet, is extremely common among the female population in Bihar's rural communities. With support from Geneva Global India, IDF created a simple but ingenious diagnostic aid aimed at adolescent girls and women: an illustration, framed around a mirror, depicting first a healthy pink mouth, followed by a series of photographs showing how the same mouth looks as it becomes paler and paler during the stages of progression to full-blown anemia. Once the pictures are explained, anyone can immediately learn to look in the mirror to check her own mouth against the pictures and see for herself whether she needs treatment.
Simple illustrations explain local self-government
||One panel of a flip chart that covers the role, importance, structure, and function of local self-government institutions (Panchayat Raj Institutions) at the village, block, and district levels. This tool is still being used actively nine years after development.