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From Pilot to Practice

Using community-led video to improve nutrition in the African Sahel

From Pilot to Practice

In 2014, SPRING began working within vulnerable populations in Niger and Burkina Faso to implement peer-based nutrition and hygiene video messaging. This community-led video approach was created by SPRING and Digital Green in India and adapted to change behaviors, engage communities, and strengthen partnerships across the African Sahel.

Photo of people shooting a video outdoors
Video for Communities, by Communities

Community video is a social and behavior change approach that influences local groups and community members to model good nutrition-related practices. When people see their peers engaged in these behaviors, they are more likely to also practice them.

Community Video for Nutrition Guide

Photo of two men filming an interview outside.
Community Media for Nutrition

SPRING is involved in community media efforts around the globe. Our programming combines nutrition messaging with creative, community-based technology platforms.

The Promise of Participatory Media


We are using an evidence-based, partner-driven approach to implement community video from a pilot program, through scale-up, to sustainable practice.

Illustration of pilot stage  Illustration of scale stage  Illustration of practice stage

Pilot icon Pilot: The Foundation for Scale

To build evidence for using community video in the Sahel, SPRING conducted formative research and introduced community video in twenty villages in Niger, relying on data and a flexible methodology to rapidly adjust the approach.

Photo of woman smiling at a microphone

SBCC in the Sahel

In 2014, SPRING conducted a landscape analysis of SBCC in Niger and Burkina Faso to explore how community-led media could improve health outcomes and to identify the nutrition and hygiene interventions with the greatest benefit to mothers, infants, and young children.

Photo of several women gathered together under a tree

Situational Analysis and Formative Research in Maradi, Niger

Before we began developing videos, SPRING examined the socio-cultural and economic context, as well as existing nutrition and hygiene behaviors in order to identify topics and practices that were culturally resonant and would have the greatest impact in the Sahel.

Photo of several people standing by the side of a road

Seeing is Believing

During the first year of video dissemination, SPRING evaluated how well the approach was accepted in Niger and assessed its potential for scale-up and sustainability. The results showed improvements in hygiene and nutrition behaviors, including handwashing and infant care.

Handwashing Behavior

Among households with a handwashing station, the percent that had soap and water increased from 73.8 at baseline to 96.2 at endline.

Chart showing among households with a handwashing station, the percent having soap and water increased from 73.8 at baseline to 96.2 at endline.

Responsive Feeding Behavior

Responsive feeding practices increased after exposure to the video.

Chart showing responsive feeding practices increased after exposure to the video.

Scale icon Scale: Transformation from Pilot to Practice

Incorporating the lessons learned during the pilot phase, SPRING expanded community video for nutrition from 20 to 115 villages in Niger and launched the community video approach in 25 villages in Burkina Faso.

Photo of three people working a video camera on a tripod

Engaging Entrepreneurs in Developing Community Videos for Nutrition

SPRING’s community video work in the Sahel involves the community at all stages of planning, developing, and disseminating videos. To ensure this capacity remains within the community, SPRING trained and equipped five video production “hubs” to localize video production.

Photo of a mother holding her child on a mat

Concept Testing Tailors Community Videos to Local Context

Concept testing is a critical step in developing effective community videos. Feedback from participants helped SPRING to understand local behaviors and perceptions and then adjust the storylines.

Practice icon Practice: Progress Toward Sustainability

During the final phase of the project, SPRING continues to expand, developing new video production hubs, accruing partners, and expanding to a total of 246 villages in Niger and 90 villages in Burkina Faso. As the project comes to an end, we are creating tools and documenting the process to enable community-led video for nutrition to continue in our absence.

Man and child sit on a mat in Niger

The Father Factor

To promote continued program learning, this report explains how the community video approach can be used to strengthen spousal communication and improve male involvement in MIYCN behaviors.

Map of the Sahel

SPRING’s GIS Dashboard: A Tool to Explore Nutrition and WASH SBC Activities in the Sahel

SPRING collaborated with partners and organizations working on nutrition and WASH to collect commune-level data of SBC activities in the Sahel, and created these GIS Dashboards to visualize that information. These dashboards allow community members, stakeholders, and decision-makers to intuitively grasp the Sahel's complex social and behavior change landscape.

Photo of goats with a village in the background

SPRING has demonstrated that community video is an effective and successful tool when implemented as part of a wider set of interventions in rural, chronically impoverished, and under-served communities in the Sahel. In addition to demonstrating that the approach is feasible at scale, SPRING has developed the tools needed to further implement community video in the Sahel and expand it elsewhere.

Watch the Videos

Photo of a group of women and men gathering to look at a flyer on handwashing.
Photo of a man and a woman standing in a field of maize discussing something.
Photo of a group of men and boys working with shovels and tools.
Photo of a group of women and children at a water well, collecting water in buckets.
Photo of a woman tending livestock in a dirt yard.
Photo of a woman carrying a bushel of hay across a yard with a stone wall in the background.
Photo of a woman standing in front of a thatched roof home, feeding livestock.
Photo of a woman walking up some steps to a large building.
Photo of a woman and man standing in front of a scale to weigh a baby.
Photo of a man in front of a straw wall.
Photo of a woman sitting with water containers in front of a wall.
photo of two men walking toward each other.
Photo of a man standing in a straw enclosure.
Photo of two men standing in front of a stone wall.
Photo of three women sitting on a blanket and talking.
Photo of a woman and children sitting on a blanket atop a dirt floor in front of a thatch covered area.
a basket of local foods including several root vegetables, tomatoes, and cabbage
We see the legs of a seated mother and baby with the main focus of the picture on a bowl of diverse fruits and vegetables she is feeding her child.
A couple sits and talks about breastfeeding as the mother tries to keep the baby on the blanket.
Four men kneel in a home garden full of vegetables. The man whose garden it is gestures towards the crops.
One man rests his hand on a cart full of grain being pulled by a draft animal. He and another man are speaking.
A group of about 10 men and women are arranged in a semi-circle around some leafy greens while one man instructs them.
Two men in the foreground and another in the background. The man on the left in the foreground holds a chicken while the man on the right gives it a shot.
We see the side of a husband's head in the foreground. His wife is sitting with him and trying to contain a fussy baby who is attempting to squirm out of her arms.
Two women crouch over a pot on a fire. One woman is stirring the moringa in the pot.
An outdoor play area. It is surrounded on four sides by a thatched wall. It is a small, sweeped, and tidy dirt area.
Three women sit companionably and talk. One woman holds an infant.
A husband walks several steps ahead of his wife as they exit a maternity health clinic.
Two women, one holding a baby, sit and talk seriously.
Four children sit outside and happily eat bananas
Three women sit in a group and admire a healthy-looking baby that one woman is holding.
A man and woman stand at opposite sides of the frame. The couple is in the process of handing a chicken from the woman to the man.
A man stands with arms outstretched and resting on the two poles of a tippy tap support. On the cross piece, hanging from the bar, is a jug of water. The man is building this tippy tap while a woman holding a baby looks on.
A woman leans over to use a tippy tap that is placed near a waist-high wall.
A mother looks on as her child eats a slice of watermelon
Videographers film a woman and her child
Videographers film a woman and her child
Hassya and her son eating
Hassaya and her child wash their hands
Two women instructing a new mother on breastfeeding
Diversification Alimentaire chez L'enfant à Partir de 6 Mois
A Wife and Husband sit on a rug and discuss the family's monthly food consumption
One woman teaches another about preventing diarrhea
A woman speaks with a doctor at a health clinic
Two women sitting on a rug and talking
Two women sitting on a rug reading a pamphlet
Man standing while woman sits and cooks
Health worker and two new mothers sitting on a rug and talking
A Good Start to Breastfeeding
Responsive Feeding is Possible
Men support handwashing in Maradi