By Nivedita Mani, Arghyam
Under the Behaviour Change Communication project, it was envisaged that a communication campaign would be created from a strategy. This campaign would be piloted in one district of Karnataka. For the communication agencies to carry out their immersive research for the strategy formulation, Arghyam was in discussions with the the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RDPR) department, Government of Karnataka, and district officials from across the state. The district selection for the research and pilot implementation of BCC project was a long process. Around 10 districts were shortlisted for this intervention, and in-depth research was done to narrow it down to one district. The selection criteria were based on the demographics, geographical location, achievement under NBA, amenability to a behavior change communication intervention, availability and access to water and good governance in the districts.
Based on these criteria, Davangere was finally selected for the BCC research and pilot project. The district is centrally located and has cultural influences from north and central Karnataka, which is a large part of the target population for further scaling up. Further, the district administration is quite strong and committed to the cause of sanitation, which we felt were huge positives in terms of getting their support and cooperation for this project.