iSMA News Desk

Managed by Julie Hentz and Nathaly Aya

Have an article you would like to share? Contact [email protected]

New Ask the Expert Series

SMANA members are invited to join our first Ask the Expert event to participate in a live Q&A session with an experienced professional in the field of social marketing. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain valuable insights and improve your social marketing knowledge base.

Our first expert in the series is Nancy Lee, an accomplished social marketer with more than 30 years of experience who has worked with numerous institutions and helped to develop many behavior change campaigns.

Date/Time: May 22, noon-1:30 p.m. ET (9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. PT)
To register, complete this form.

Examples of questions or topics include:

  • Practitioners asking about theory
  • Students asking about career prospects
  • Questions about expert’s material and experience
  • Professionals asking about strategy

*Member Tip: Did you know that as a SMANA member, you get free access to bi-monthly webinars hosted by iSMA?

New Social Marketing Listserv

We invite you to join the new Social Marketing Listserv,, a place to share opportunities, resources, events, questions, and news related to social marketing from across the globe. It is managed by the Social Marketing Association of North America (SMANA) in partnership with the International Social Marketing Association (iSMA).

To subscribe, send an email to [email protected] or visit

This listserv replaces the non-working “Georgetown” list and The technology has been extensively tested over the last quarter by SMANA and iSMA members. Join us in making it a valuable community resource.

For a step-by-step guide on how to subscribe using a non-Gmail account, visit this page. Any questions? Please contact us at [email protected] 

Chipping away at the TB pandemic in Southern Africa

LiveMoya was commissioned by the World Bank to promote behavior change on TB among selected mining communities in Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland. Mining communities are deemed to be miners, ex-miners, labor sending communities and communities situated around the mines. The key areas to address were:

  • increasing TB awareness;  
  • improving case finding outcomes;  
  • improving treatment outcomes; and   
  • increasing compensation payments.

The four countries selected are among the hardest hit by the TB pandemic in the world. This is largely due to the large mining sector in South Africa, and the migratory nature of mining in Southern Africa. The response had to take into account the various languages and cultures between and within countries, the nature and extent of services available, and the vast distances to be covered to reach mining and labor-sending communities. Also, a number of historical challenges exist which have created confusion, mistrust and a lack of coordination.

It was therefore essential to implement a campaign that would speak with a single voice, reach across multiple languages and literacy barriers, build credibility, be spread through word of mouth, and importantly, create a new level of awareness of TB, new initiatives and services.

The face of this World Bank funded campaign was an animated character by the name of ‘Big Jim’. He took the figure of a typical mineworker who is a TB survivor. He is a trusted member of the mining community who helps current miners, ex-miners and the community at large understand the risks and dangers of TB and silicosis in the mining sector, and how to manage the disease. He also encourages those affected by TB to seek clinical and compensation services.

Big Jim provided campaign uniformity and was easily identifiable. He became a much loved character and appeared on all campaign literature and material. Social mobilisers were also dressed in Big Jim branded mining gear to create relatable personas. They conducted door-to-door mobilization and local dialogues to reach the affected communities. Additionally, selected spokespeople appeared on local radio stations to address questions on the campaign, TB and encourage community members to access services.

Communication materials distributed through the network of selected stakeholders included:

  • an animated video ( ) with sub-titles in local languages;
  • story cards for interpersonal engagement and dialogues;
  • mobile messaging; and
  • posters and pamphlets covering specific themes, and translated into local languages.

There was a high use of visuals in order to convey messaging irrespective of literacy levels. The visuals were largely taken from the animated video to ensure recognition and consistency of message.

In the implementation of the project LiveMoya collaborated with national institutions, non-governmental organizations, mining companies and public health bodies in each of the four countries. Each of these stakeholders has a footprint in the targeted communities and provided a departure point and form of credibility. Collaborations with the stakeholders involved partnering up during community events and sharing of information communication (IEC) materials for dissemination in the selected communities. LiveMoya also engaged with service providers (clinic, compensation etc.) to ensure there was a strong drive from interpersonal engagement to service uptake.

The project was successfully completed in December 2016 and while the impact of the campaign is yet to be de determined, LiveMoya was able to track the number of miners reached. This was done through tracking the number of people registered on the social mobilisation registers as well as people who attended events. The overall campaign results can be found in the tables below:





Current male miners



Current female miners



Former male miners



Former female miners



Grand Total














Table 1: Miners reached through interpersonal communication


During the implementation of the campaign LiveMoya learned the following:

  • interpersonal communication (social mobilisation) is critical in addressing health issues and increasing service uptake;
  • the use of IEC and promotional materials is effective as a secondary level of messaging support. They provide lasting reference points that can be shared numerous times amongst the target group;
  • all communication and social mobilisation strategies utilised in communities should be contextualised to local needs and realities;
  • close engagement with local partners provides an entry point into community structures and increases campaign credibility; and
  • delivering on campaign promises is critical – particularly in an environment of low trust levels. Where delivery is impossible, open and timely communication with partners is important.
Building the Evidence Base for Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)
Written by Gael O'Sullivan   

2016 was a pivotal year for those of us working to improve health behaviors in developing countries. Drawing on behavioral science, social marketing, anthropology and other related disciplines, the SBCC community is actively curating, analyzing, and cataloguing the evidence base to demonstrate what works best to prevent illness and unintended pregnancy, treat sick people successfully, and shift social and cultural norms to strengthen the health enabling environment.  USAID, WHO, UNICEF and others are actively pursuing different yet related efforts to compile behavior change evidence on: 1) maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, 2) malaria, 3) family planning and 4) water and sanitation (WASH).  A number of guidance protocols, evidence summaries and journal publications will be produced through these initiatives, which will spur the SBCC community forward with a solid toolbox of best practices. Stay tuned for social marketing-specific findings that will add to our iSMA toolbox as well. In the meantime, if you are interested to join some of the conversations related to these topics, check out: and  In addition, the Communication Initiative is currently holding a global consultation to identify the best ways for our worldwide social and behavior change network to organize and engage:

Telling Untold Stories and Innovating for Good
Written by Gael O'Sullivan   

As refugee Olympians kicked off the Social Good Summit at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on September 18, 2016, Chelsea Handler further energized the crowd with her opening salvo, “If you have a soap box, stand on it and scream!”  For two full days the likes of US Vice-President Joe Biden, actor Alec Baldwin, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, former President Joyce Banda of Malawi, musician Demi Lovato, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and journalist Shaun King challenged attendees with thought provoking insights and passionate calls to ensure that the world follows through on achieving the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals.

Even more importantly, a wide array of everyday citizens also took the stage to share their stories, ranging from tenacious efforts to fight injustice to ingenious technology applications tackling intractable challenges.  As Mashable founder and CEO Pete Cashmore explained, “We set out to start a conversation, and with the power of your voices, we’ve started a movement.”  Now in its’ seventh year, the Social Good Summit is held during UN Week each September to examine the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world.  The theme, #2030NOW, asks, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” With 1,800 people in New York, more than 100,000 watching the global broadcast live in seven languages, and over 1.8 billion impressions on social media, the Social Good Summit gave voice to a wide range of speakers and topics. 

A few key takeaways include:

  1. Each of us has a role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  What are you doing to make the world a better place?
  2. Young people have tremendous energy and ideas – we need to support leadership training and other efforts to help them succeed.
  3. Technology will continue to play an increasing role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to education, the environment, health, agriculture and other sectors. 
  4. We need new ways of thinking about and acting on the overwhelming refugee challenges in the world today.  As UNHCR Chief Filippo Grand says, “Humanitarian resources are not a solution – they are a stop gap.” Actress Connie Britton reminded us that we need to help those without a voice be heard, and others commented that we as a global community no longer seem to equate the word ‘refugee’ with the word ‘person’.

Social Marketing was not featured explicitly at the Summit, although many relevant principles such as understanding your audience, developing creative and compelling messages, and looking at the continuum of change needed from the consumer to the policymaker were featured in the presentations and discussions.  The four “P’s” were mentioned, although they were described as “policy, people, physicians, and pharma”.  Hopefully next year our global social marketing community can have a stronger voice at this critical forum.

Despite the enormous challenges discussed and debated throughout the Summit, attendees could not help but leave inspired after hearing speakers like Memory Banda, a young girl from Malawi.  Memory is an activist who had the courage to speak out at age 13 against traditions of child rape and child marriage.  Initially she and her friends just wanted more time to be educated and to enjoy their childhood.  With the help of the Girls Empowerment Network and Rise Up, Memory’s passion helped lead Malawi to pass a law in February 2016 banning child marriage.  Now four million girls can focus on school, childhood, and thinking about their futures in ways they never before imagined.

For more details and to watch the presentations, check out #2030Now and this link:


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