From ‘Seed to Kulcha’: Our Remote Journey to Create a Locally Relevant Social Behavior Change Campaign for Maternal and Child Health in Tajikistan (During a global pandemic) 

In late 2020, Changeable joined an expansive project aimed at improving maternal nutrition and child health in Tajikistan, a country we would not step foot in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All from behind a laptop screen, we developed a locally-resonant social behavior change (SBC) strategy to motivate and enable families in rural Tajikistan to adopt improved maternal and child health practices.

Having worked for years in nutrition SBC, we knew there was a lot of work that had already been done, to which we could look for inspiration. Additionally, without access to the field, we needed to get creative about all resources at our disposal. We were especially inspired by a campaign developed as part of a USAID–funded maternal and child health project in Tanzania, Siku 1,000 (translation, 1,000 Days) [Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program 2011-2018]. This campaign used the growth process of a sunflower as a metaphor for the early stages of a baby’s development. At each stage of the sunflower’s—or child’s—growth, there are identified target behaviors families should take, to ensure their young children reach optimal health. Inspired by this idea, we adapted this concept to the local Tajikistan context.


Siku 1,000 Campaign Image

To us, the proof of SBC is in the quality of campaign roll out and implementation.  Though challenging when done remotely,  we organized virtual meetings and led routine coaching with the Tajik team and local partners. We brought a local consultant onto our team who helped facilitate buy-in among the project’s stakeholders on the ground to ground-truth our SBC approach, which is relatively new to Tajikistan.

Additionally, we produced implementation guidelines; including detailed campaign kick-off kits and action plans; enabling the Tajik team to conduct in- person local workshops and trainings for roll-out.

For further details about this work, please check out our full case study below.