Standardized Research Tools and Technologies for Global Polio Communication Programmes, which can be Adapted to Specific Country Contexts


Principal Investigator:
Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis

Health Policy and Management

Dates of Research:
March 4, 2013 — March 4, 2015


This project proposes to develop a standardized knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) research process for global Polio communication programs using an innovative, rapid polling methodology that is the specialized field of the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) at the Harvard School of Public Health.  It will be supported by HORP’s field team at D3 Systems, which specializes in conducting polls in developing nations and post-conflict regions.

The central result of the research process is that priority countries will have access to high-quality KAPs data that can be used to enhance communications efforts at any time in the programme to respond to emerging social issues, and improve the effectiveness and reach of communication interventions.  UNICEF  HQ will also be able to better support these efforts in country through technical assistance including guidance on strategy formation, communication innovations, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

In order to maximize the long-term effectiveness of this research process, this project is designed to engage country offices in a collaborative and participatory process so that the research tools and data generated reflects their priorities and needs.  We propose a number of activities, such as an in-person workshop and online feedback channels that will allow the research team to hear the perspective of country office staff on challenges to date, their needs for information, and their insights into the research process within the local context in order to inform our activities.


Further, we aim to use this process to build country capacity in conducting KAP studies so that this particular effort could be transitioned to full implementation by the country staff in future years, not only for polio eradication but also as a legacy left behind to strengthen routine immunization.  Thus, intertwined with the engagement activities are parallel efforts that focus on country-level capacity building with particular emphasis on research design and data interpretation.