Yugdeep Thapa

Recommended reading: http://www.practicalaction.org

Posts by Yugdeep

  • Leave no one behind: Nepal Reconstruction Project awareness campaign

    December 18th, 2018

    The Supply Chain Project, unique and innovative in its approach, intervened through the market systems, promoted local enterprises and introduced innovative solutions to provide affordable quality construction materials to earthquake affected people of the remote hill areas of Nuwakot and Rasuwa. The market-led approach implemented to catalyse the reconstruction process also aimed at creating awareness on the use of quality construction materials and access to complete market information. (Read more on Supply Chain Project)

    The idea was to leave no one behind. From person-to-person interactions to information dissemination through mainstream media, the project awareness campaign, with a strategic plan, appropriate message and right medium and channel aimed at making as big an impact as possible. It started with community level interactions, focused group discussions and later was escalated through mainstream media. With successful results in the two pilot districts, the project activities and communications strategy were scaled up in three additional districts of Sindhupalchowk, Dhading and Gorkha, .

    Community level sensitisation programmes 

    Sensitisation program and safety kit distribution in Nuwakot for the internally displaced people of Haku rural municipality. The village in Haku has been deemed unsafe to inhabit by the government.

    The initial phase of the campaign carried out interaction and information sharing programmes to the locals at the community level. The interaction programmes were ideal to introduce project interventions as well as spread the message of using quality construction materials to build earthquake safe structures. The community level sensitisation programmes were organised in major market and town hubs according to the clusters formed in the project districts.

    The project also conducted workshops for focused groups such as entrepreneurs, construction materials vendors and distributors, and government appointed engineers. These workshops in addition to providing information, would also serve as a means to generate project advocates for further information dissemination.

    Street drama

    Three young girls sit under a towel enjoying the street drama organized by Practical Action in Kalikasthan Raswuwa. As part of its awareness campaign, the project has conducted a series of street dramas throughout Rasuwa and Nuwakot that focuses on quality construction materials and building safe structures.

    A proven popular means to capture the hearts and minds of the people and delivering the required message, street dramas were displayed as a means to create buzz at the local level that would be followed up by messages in the mainstream media.

    The street performance was carried out in 15 locations in Raswua and Nuwakot. With an average of 200 to 250 in the audience, the street drama was successful in capturing the attention of the audience while subtly providing message on building safe structures and using quality construction materials. Such programs were also a good platform to share information about the project supported resource centers, enterprises and information centers.

    Street drama ‘Suracheet Baas’ being performed in Betrawati, a market hub in Rasuwa.

    Information Education Communications materials

    From leaflets to comprehensive manuals and how-to videos, the project produced IEC materials as required for its interventions and awareness objectives. Primarily, to provide a complete information package to the entrepreneurs and consumers alike, the project produced manuals and videos of the project supported technologies, such as booklets of timber treatment procedure, how to build with earth bricks (Compressed Stabilised Earth Bricks) manuals, machine maintenance along with simple how-to videos.

    In addition, project promotional communications content such as information flyers, brochures of project supported enterprises; posters were produced and distributed in awareness programs, events and workshops and disseminated accordingly. Hoarding boards emphasizing the use of quality construction materials were also erected in strategic places such as rural municipality offices and resource centers.

    Market Information App

    The app logo represents the initial letter ‘S’of the project name while also forming a link of a chain indicating the Supply Chain of construction materials, from the factory to individual households. Similarly, the background colour represents the colour of earth and bricks.

    The project developed a mobile app “Shulav Samagri” for comprehensive market information that would allow users to access information from the price of construction materials at different locations, transportation cost, mason details to local hardware retail shops and its price rates.

    The project is now in the process to handover the operational and upkeep of the app as the project period ends this year. Talks with Nepal reconstruction Authority, Post Earthquake Reconstruction Project and other relevant stakeholders for the handover of the application is ongoing.

    Radio programmes

    With the preliminary awareness activities now on the go, the project collaborated with local FMs, Nuwakot FM and Radio Langtang, to produce a radio program “Suracheet Baas”  that aired twice a week. The local stations further collaborated with similar local FMs in the district to air the same show to capture a wider audience as possible.

    Radio Langtang, partner radio station of the project, is operated by an all-female staff. The radio station produced and aired “Suracheet Baas” twice a week. The station now broadcasts PSAs project supported enterprises of CSEB, timber treatment facilities and stone cutting machines.

    In addition, promotional advertisements of the project supported enterprises such as CSEB (Compressed Stabilised Earth Bricks), timber treatment, stone cutting machine were aired  in various local FM stations in both pilot as well as scale-up districts of Gorkha, Dhading and Sindhupalchowk. The promotional ads helped generate demand as well as introduce the project supported activities to the general mass. Similarly, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on timber treatment facilities and CSEBs have been produced and aired at the district level.

      Timber Treatment PSA


    Public Service Video 

    Two PSA animation videos on identification of quality construction materials and emphasising its use were produced and disseminated through local and national television channels as well as various social network sites. Broadcast of the videos through national TV channels ensured the information would not only be limited to the project districts but available all across the country. The videos were aired just after the monsoon, at the advent of autumn, the preferred construction period and the start of holiday season.

    Whiteboard and doodle animation videos of project interventions (CSEB, stone cutting technology and demand aggregation) were produced and circulated in social network sites. These short introductory visual representations have been uploaded in social media platforms as well as disseminated in community level sensitization programs. Social media has already proved to become a useful marketing tool where some enterprises are promoting their products through such social networks.

    Journalist exposure visits

     The project also organised various journalist exposure visits throughout the project period to create awareness on the effective technologies introduced by the project. The project activities and interventions were covered by leading national dailies, local papers as well as international news agencies.

    Saving the earth with earth bricks

    Despite a small-scale awareness campaign, through a strategic approach, the Supply Chain  Project, in various degrees, has been able to influence the government stakeholders, peer organisations, as well as the general public. The government is set to approve the new building guidelines of the project introduced earth bricks, setting up small-scale enterprises is more efficient at the local level, peer organisations have adopted the project approach and methodologies and most important of all people have have access to affordable alternatives.



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