Melody Makers

Ensuring Harmonious Collaboration
August 25, 2022
Prof. Myriam Sidibe, Chair of NBCC and Founder of Brands on a Mission consults closely with Sarah Kosgei, Programme Manager at Amref Health Africa, during a partner’s breakfast meeting held on 30th June 2022, Tamarind Tree Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

A blank canvas is where we start; creating a masterpiece is ourend goal. The question is thus not just what we do, but how we do it. The masterpiece we are pursuing can be visualised as an orchestra, with each of our partners representing different components that must work harmoniously to bringmusic to our ears.

In this second phase of HBCC, over 30 organizations have partnered with Amref-NBCC, ranging from digital media agencies to social businesses, NGOs, community organisations, retail companies, funding partners, and more. It takes avery deliberate and concerted effort to bring together this diversity of entities that don’t typically collaborate. Close coordination to ensure synchronicity of partners, avoidance of duplication and strategic pooling ofresources is essential to ensuring the coalition operates like a well-oiled machine, capable of achieving its ambitious goals.

At the core of this Amref-NBCC mobilisation is, naturally, the NBCC Secretariat and Amref Health Africa members as well as the donors -Unilever and the UK’s FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) -and the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Collectively, these entities provide high-level strategic guidance as to the direction of the HBCC agenda in the targeted countries, ensure robust financing, facilitate activations through necessary approvals and provide access to important networks needed for the coalition to achieve scale of impact. This core group represents the stage upon which the orchestra is able to perform.

The second layer of partners, the implementing and non-implementing partners can be understood as the musicians and instruments. These partners represent a highly diverse range of skillsets, with each offering solutions that are designed to work in this new pandemic landscape. Within the Amref-NBCC partnership, NBCC’s core role is to provide clear strategic co-ordination of all these partners.

The first partners we onboarded were digital partners who are key to ensuring smooth and large-scale dissemination of the campaign via digital and mass media. These partners have been quick to activate, with the digital media campaign launched on 4th July in all 3 countries. Mass media was launched just a few days later on the 7th (TV) and 12th July (Radio). We are excited to have an interesting mix of digital media partners (see our recent newsletter for more), each bringing innovative digital tools and creative ways of reminding people to practice positive health behaviours. This is particularly essential in this context of pandemic fatigue and apathy towards practicing hygiene behaviours.

Racheal Njoroge and Nelson Mukhwana of Pulse Kenya peruse a document during the partners breakfast meeting held in Nairobi.

A mixture of implementing, non-implementing and amplification partners have been brought on board to support in the second phase of the project: interpersonal communication and on-ground programme delivery. This ranges from in-kind donations by private sector entities, to the procurement and delivery of such products, to training community health volunteers, and delivering on-ground hygiene activations. Each partner has been tasked with reaching a different audience or with a different agenda, in a way that is inclusive and avoids duplication. Supported by Amref-NBCC, the implementing partners deliver according to their agenda, ensuring that they collect feedback and inform the NBCC Secretariat of it to enable continuous learning.

The various activations of all partners are channeled back to the NBCC Secretariat who work to ensure continued coordination and synergies. This coordination is achieved both through regular direct contact with the partners and through broader partnership meetings, which are hosted monthly. The NBCC Secretariat is also responsible for communicating on the work of all partners via the website, newsletter, traditional and social media.

It is owing to the close coordination of such diverse partners that the magic is able to happen, and the orchestra, composed of so many parts, is able to create a harmonious tune. This harmony translates to smooth and inclusive HBCC 2 delivery in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania across 3 key areas: strong communication of key hygiene behaviours to drive public awareness and behaviour change, provision of access to ensure the public has access to hygiene products and handwashing facilities, capacity building to strengthen health systems in the long-term, including training of healthcare workers and advocacy to institutionalise hygiene in the national health agenda.

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