Overview of Different Units / IEM

Bangladesh’s Family Planning Program is a success story despite low literacy rate and poor status of other socio economic indicators. This success is associated with notable increases in contraceptive use and consequent declines in fertility. This was possible due to continuous political commitment, innovative program approaches, government and non-government collaboration, strong IEC program, and commitment of the field-level functionaries. In Bangladesh, the provision of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) on selected health, family planning and nutrition issues has been one of the key interventions for more than four decades. In these programs, communication activities have resulted to bring about behavioral change among the people towards small family norms, promotion of family welfare, nutrition and facilitating increase in CPR and decrease in TFR, IMR, NMR, MMR and safe motherhood, breast feeding, vaccination, RTA, neonatal care, adolescent health care, gender issue & violence against women, etc. through special emphasis on interpersonal communication, electronic and print media.

Since inception, the information, education and motivation (IEM) unit of the Directorate General of Family Planning has been playing the key role in implementing the IEC programmers throughout the country. A number of multi-sectoral ministries were also involved in the BCC/ IEC activities.

Besides, inter-personal communication (IPC) through Family Welfare Assistants (FWAs), realizing the importance of electronic media for strengthening the IEC program, Government established separate population cells under Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television during mid 1970s and early 1980s. From that time Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television have also been working to raise the awareness level of target audiences on FP-MCH through population cells funded by IEM unit. Now Bangladesh Betar (Dhaka and other 11 sub centers) broadcast 360 minutes program daily on FP-MCH, ARH, gender issues, HIV/AIDS etc. throughout the country. Bangladesh Television also telecast 25 minutes programs daily (except Friday) on FP-MCH, ARH, gender issues, HIV/AIDS etc.

Population Cell of Bangladesh Betar is engaged in broadcasting programs on family planning and maternal and child health issues which include discussion, interviews, drama, motivational songs, spots, jingles, documentary events, short stories etc. On the other hand, the Bangladesh Television has been telecasting programs like - Cinema slides, TV spots, TV magazines, TV talk shows, TV dramas, TV serials, short films, music video, audio video cassettes on family planning, mother and child health, adolescent reproductive health, gender issue, violence against women and women empowerment on regular basis.

This unit has been working since last four decades for creating awareness about small family norms, maternal and child health care and overall reproductive health care in Bangladesh.

Major activities of IEM are as follows:
  • Awareness, Sensitization and Motivation;
  • Production distribution and display of  IEC materials;
  • Capacity building & logistics support ;
  • Media Campaign and Transmission; and
  • Survey, Monitoring and Evaluation of IEC activities.

IEM unit conducts those activities through it’s Operational plan titled ‘IEC’ and bi- lateral programs with the UNFPA, USAID and Save the Children, DFID.

General Objective:
To bring about behavioral change by increasing awareness and creating demand through IEC interventions among the people towards small family norms, promoting family welfare including nutrition and facilitating to increase in CPR and decrease in TFR, MMR, and IMR.

Specific Objectives of IEC Operation Plan:
  • To provide IEC support and optimize utilization of FP-MCH and Nutrition services in the country;
  • To change attitude among the people about long acting contraceptive methods and promote male participation;
  • To provide IEC support to the users not to discontinue the family planning contraceptive method without valid reasons and continue with option to practice FP methods;
  • To create awareness on FP-MCH, specially contraceptive methods for newlywed and low parity couples;
  • To create awareness about the deleterious effect of early marriage among the adolescent/unmarried and develop positive attitude among them towards delaying marriage;
  • To create awareness among the people about the benefit of continuous use of condom in order to prevent HIV/AIDS and promote family planning and reproductive health;
  • To improve capacity of IEM officials on IEC related programs;
  • To extend IEC support to hard-to-reach areas (char, haor, baor & hill) and disseminate family planning/reproductive health messages among the inhabitants specially couples of those areas and also among the hard core groups, urban slum dwellers and disadvantaged groups;
  • To address the issues like violence against women and children, Gender equity, and Adolescent Reproductive Health through different IEC interventions;
  • Promote community ownership through community participation, collaborate with local govt. agencies/representatives and involve NGOs in various IEC campaign and related activities; and
  • To increase IPC skills among the service providers for better counseling, motivation and quality care services.  

Activities of IEC Operation Plan
  • Campaign on permanent & long acting contraceptive method, delayed marriage, newborn care, breast feeding throughout the country;
  • Motivational meeting  for Newlywed and Low-parity couples at upazila level  on FP, MC H, RH, safe motherhood, birth- spacing;
  • Orientation workshop for Marriage Registrar, Religious Leaders, Madrasha & School Teachers on FP, MCH, RH, adolescent health care, safe motherhood & delayed marriage;
  • Skill development workshop & IPC for service providers (FWA, FPI, FWV, SACMO etc.);
  • Poster, leaflet, booklet, brochure, flipchart production and distribution;
  • Display of Bill boards, hoardings etc;
  • Production and display of Short films, documentary films, TV dramas, TV spots, TV magazine &   Street dramas etc;
  • Media Campaign through BTV, Other private TV channel, Bangladesh Betar and private FM Radio channels for Population & Health communication program;
  • Motivational program on FP-MCH, RH through Jarigan, Folksong and Pot singing  campaign on FP-MCH,RH issues through football/cricket tournament; and
  • Musical show on FP-MCH, RH & gender issues in 7 divisions using local team with local dialect.