Just because we know something is good for us doesn’t necessarily mean that we will practice the right behaviour. For awareness raising, this is particularly important. Just because people know about the risks associated with irregular migration doesn’t mean that they will practice the safe behaviours that we are promoting in our awareness raising campaigns. Experience from development initiatives has shown that it is not enough to come up with solutions and expect people to automatically adopt them.
One of the ways that IOM tried to address this challenge, and to move beyond awareness raising to effecting behavior change, is by using a Communication for Development (C4D) approach.
C4D is a people centered process where communication tools and activities are used to support social and behaviour change in a sustained way. It is used to understand a targeted audience’s knowledge, attitudes and practices around a certain issue in order to work with them to develop empowering messages and tools. C4D provides a framework under which actions can be taken to empower communities to adopt positive behaviour change.
If implemented properly, C4D, within the context of awareness raising campaigns on irregular migration can help to:
- Raise awareness about issues related to migration;
- Increase understanding of the risks and consequences associated with unsafe behaviours;
- Facilitate access to resources and services for both returned, aspirant and current migrants;
- Aid messaging and effectiveness through participation;
- Reduce negative attitudes of stigma and discrimination;
- Support advocacy to stimulate public dialogue;
- Promote social action and empowerment; and
- Create an environment where positive behaviours can take place.
For more information about how to use a C4D approach to create impactful awareness raising campaigns, visit: https://iomx.iom.int/design-a-c4d-campaign