This week brings to an end the most ambitious -- and most exciting and challenging -- project we have ever undertaken: development of a comprehensive, longterm Communication for Development strategy to be implemented in key districts and nationwide by UNICEF and the government of Nepal.
It has been a team effort that involved well over a year of close collaboration between Rain Barrel's experts and UNICEF specialists, formative research, field visits, consultations with children and women, workshops with government officials and other partners, media and creative agencies, etc.
Everyday Heroes is a social change strategy. It builds on existing programs and communication efforts and seeks to improve child and maternal health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation and promote positive alternatives to discrimination, violence and child marriage, through community empowerment and engagement with Nepal's Child-Friendly Local Governance structures. It has a robust behavior monitoring component and toolbox and a creative strategy that relies heavily on entertainment education and transmedia campaigning to amplify children's voices. Children's clubs will map their communities and propose solutions. The strategy foresees establishment of a national Everyday Heroes system to recognize positive role models and support the efforts of organizations and institutions fighting for children's rights.
Over time it is hoped that Everyday Heroes will help reframe the way Nepali society views children as rights holders and protagonists of change. The rationale for proposing this name is that it positions the C4D strategy as inspiring, positive, national and historic in scope – as a social movement more than a one-off campaign.
Rain Barrel Communications wishes to thank UNICEF Nepal – in particular, Representative Hanaa Singer; Deputy Representative Will Parks and their sterling C4D team – Sanju Bhattarai, Nafisa Binte Shafique, Hyung Joon Kim, Binoy Dil Lama, Madhuri Sharma and Sundar Kumar Lama - for entrusting this bold and innovative undertaking to us. Their help and guidance, and that of all Program staff, made this complex project possible and relevant to this crucial moment in Nepal’s history.
This holds true, as well, for the representatives of the Government of Nepal and other UNICEF partners. We especially thank the children from some of the country’s most disadvantaged districts who aided the development of the strategy by providing us with vital insights, feedback and encouragement.
The Rain Barrel team for the Everyday Heroes project: Teresa H. Stuart Guida, Ph.D., Team Leader and C4D Strategy Development; Ami Sengupta, Ph.D., C4D Strategy Development; Suruchi Sood, Ph.D./Drexel University, Behaviour Monitoring; Carmen Cronin, MPH/Drexel University, Behaviour Monitoring; Carolina Casas, Creative Strategy; Gary Coldevin, Ph.D., Creative Strategy; Kul Chandra Gautam, Political Advisor; Rina Gill, Technical Advisor; Hazel Gibson, Project Administrator.
It has been an honor to work with this Dream Team.
Robert Cohen, Director and Project Manager
Paul Hoeffel, Director