Wednesday, August 31, 2011

USA Africa Dialogue Series - polio eradication research opportunity




UNICEF, in collaboration with the Global Polio Eradication Partnerships (GPEI), invites interested institutions, teams or individuals to submit proposals to conduct social research focusing on health communication to support polio eradication in Angola, Chad, DRC, Nigeria or Pakistan. Successful proposals will demonstrate the capacity of the bidder to complete the research, along with a clear research thesis, methodologies appropriate for the research, an outline of in-country partnerships and time lines that will produce results applicable to improving communication efforts for polio eradication in the next 18 to 24 months. Proposals that link polio communication research to broader issues in child health are encouraged. Proposals should adhere to the standards outlined in the proposal submission guidelines available at : (, and be submitted by 1 September 2011.

Categories for potential research include:

Health provider / client interactions:  research that examines the dynamics and quality of individual or community relationships with health workers and health services. 

Social and community health issues: research that explores mechanisms for community participation;  that helps to identify, document, describe or understand the social determinants of underserved or marginalized groups, or outlines methods to remove social barriers to access as well as increasing individual and community demand for polio vaccine, including social network analysis.

Risk perceptions: research that helps understand individual and/or community perceptions of the risk of polio and other vaccine preventable diseases, and how that compares to perceptions of other risks faced in the context of their social, political and economic realities. Such research could help identify possible triggers or motivations for taking action on immunization.


Gender: research to better understand the gender dimensions of identified high risk communities for polio, to describe how gender roles influence household decision-making around immunization and other protective health behaviours. Of particular interest will be how gender roles influence and construct decision making within the home and within community networks to better inform the design of communication interventions.

New technology: research in the areas of innovative use of new media, such as social networking, or innovative applications of other technologies such as SMS or GPS to promote polio immunization.

Integration: research that highlights opportunities, challenges or strategies to link polio eradication communication to other areas of child survival and development, such as routine immunization or sanitation, for the mutual benefit of all concerned programmes.

Media / messaging: research that focuses on more traditional forms of public health promotion, including formative studies that link community sentiment / knowledge to media messaging and use.

Efficacy studies: research that helps demonstrate what communication strategies or activities work in increasing demand for immunization, community ownership and participation in health services through active health seeking behaviors.

Lessons learned: any research that documents and demonstrate best practices, including capturing aspects of successful micro initiatives or through more comprehensive meta-analyses.

Additional research proposals that do not fit into the above categories are welcome, but should be focused on social aspects of health promotion for polio eradication.

Please pass this announcement along to any individuals or institutions you feel would be interested in this research opportunity.




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