URC to Lead USAID TRANSFORM IQC

USAID has awarded the Translating Effective Practices from Research, Marketing and Design (TRANSFORM) Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) to URC. Working from a sound evidence base and applying behavioral economics, marketing and technical expertise, the TRANSFORM IQC will positively impact USAID health programs around the world.

The URC TRANSFORM Team

Our TRANSFORM team, led by URC, includes Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), Danya International, Dimagi, GMMB, ideas42 and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. We bring deep knowledge and practical experience on a global scale in marketing, advertising and digital/new media strategies and are well placed to bring into practice evidence-based behavior change  innovations and improve health-related behaviors and attitudes. URC will be prime contractor on large business task orders.

TRANSFORM areas of expertise
  • Change management
  • Digital behavior change communications
  • Mobile and web-based technologies
  • Engagement communications
  • Grass-roots organizing
  • Behavioral economics& behavioral science
  • Social and behavior-centered programming
  • Quality improvement
  • Health systems strengthening
  • Sustainable local solutions

Behavior Communication Strategies for Sustainable Change

Over the past decade, the body of evidence supporting health communication has grown considerably, and a clear consensus has emerged that communications strategies, in conjunction with and supportive of health initiatives, produce measurable, effective changes in health behaviors. Today’s technologies lend themselves to rapid, targeted messaging that can transform a health initiative’s impact: SMS technology can provide discrete, immediate communications to promote HIV treatment and prevention behaviors among at-risk populations; a tele-radio program can interact with and offer information to isolated populations in remote areas with limited access to health care providers; an interactive drama can reach thousands of men, women and children with culturally appropriate messages regarding family planning.

TRANSFORM will respond to USAID findings that health communication strategies often are implemented without the benefit of recent, evidence-based insights gained in the fields of behavioral economics, psychology, advertising and design. The five-year, $60 million umbrella contract gives URC and its partners the ability to respond to urgent needs for behavior change communication in health programming worldwide.

Key components of TRANSFORM include:

  • A results-driven framework designed to stimulate, achieve and sustain behavior changes in critical health issues, including family planning, nutrition and maternal and child health; HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment and reduction; and the treatment and prevention of malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases
  • Effective, targeted solutions to health challenges based on inclusive strategy sessions and rigorous metrics, data and testing that will benefit from ongoing monitoring, capacity building and mentoring.
  • Local and national leadership to provide critical input into the strategy and design of tailored communications strategies formulated to affect positive behavioral change in critical health issues.
  • Close monitoring of campaigns for performance. Successes will be shared across programs, where appropriate, and fitted to the individual needs of each community.

URC will manage the TRANSFORM team, with nearly 50 years of grounded expertise in quality improvement, behavior change communication, health systems strengthening and sustainability.

ADP applies the considerable global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing capabilities of Accenture to the international development sector through an innovative, not-for-profit business model.

Danya International provides leading-edge approaches in digital behavior change communication to health and education issues.

Dimagi, a socially conscious mobile and web-based technology company, builds technologies that facilitate quality health.

GMMB, an advertising and marketing firm, creates connective campaigns that employ engagement communications and grass-roots strategies.

ideas42 uses behavioral economics and behavioral science to invent and test solutions that address the world’s challenges.

The Manoff Group has been a leader in innovative formative research, communications, social and behavior-centered programming since 1967.

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness develops world-class communications that build brands and promote well being.

Earlier Examples of URC’s Health Communication and Behavior Change Expertise

Multiple channels (malaria prevention and treatment): ProMPT, Ghana

URC supported health programs using a comprehensive behavior change communication strategy: mass media, print, interpersonal communication and community drama reinforced health workers’ messages. Over 11,500 radio spots aired in five languages on 21 local radio stations, and over 4000 community, traditional, and religious leaders received an orientation on malaria prevention.

SMS communications (HIV/AIDS prevention): HealthPRO, Philippines

USAID supported implementation of a low-cost intervention approach to target men having sex with men (MSM), using mobile phone short message service (SMS) technology. The initiative, SMS4MSM provided information on HIV/AIDS prevention, counseling and testing services and support . By the end of 2011, SMS4MSM had sent 2,800 messages to 20,700 MSMs and 372 MSMs participated in health classes.

Mobile technology (family planning): PRISE-C, Benin

In the Allada/Zè/Toffo health zone of Benin, where PRISE-C operates, contraceptives prevalence rates are below 0.5%. In 2013, URC’s nonprofit affiliate, the Center for Human Services, piloted “Texting for Maternal Well Being”, which provided mobile phones to support training and facilitate case management and data collection. At the end of the pilot, 30% of the 225 women/couples who had consulted with a community health worker adopted a family planning method.

For nearly 50 years, URC has been providing technical assistance globally to improve health and social systems, empowering communities to improve though sustainable, scalable solutions to pressing problems.

Contact

For additional information on working with URC, contact Samuel A. Mariam, URC Vice President for Contracts and Grants Administration.

Date 
February 03, 2014
Authors 
Christina Zola, Communications Specialist
Regions/ Countries