Population Reference Bureau – Bringing Information to Decision-makers for Global Effectiveness (BRIDGE) Project

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With funding from USAID, the BRIDGE project improves the policy environment on key population and health issues in developing countries. It provides influential audiences in these countries and in the international development community with up-to-date information and the skills to interpret and use that information for improving health policies and practices. In the PHE Practice area, the PRB BRIDGE Project disseminates PHE information to priority policy audiences, enhances the quantity and quality of news coverage of key PHE issues, and strengthens the capacity of individuals and institutions to disseminate policy-relevant PHE information.

Development Challenge
After ten years of experience with integrated PHE programming, the PHE approach has provided programming successes with self sustaining systems managed by local populations who are addressing environmental resource management issues, improving health practices, and embracing family planning. Despite these positive outcomes, international development practitioners – donors, NGOs, contractors – have been slow to embrace this integrated PHE programming approach. Proponents of integrated PHE programming approaches must raise awareness of not only the linkages between population, health, environment as key to sustainable development, but communicate to diverse audiences that integrating P, H, and E can optimize the long-term impact of development dollars. Greater interest in, demand for and eventually investment in PHE programming is the challenge, and BRIDGE specifically focuses on activities that will impact policy – of institutions, governments, and civil society.

Approach
The BRIDGE Project focuses on effectively communicating with important policy audiences on PHE topics. BRIDGE targets media institutions and journalists who can tell the PHE story to broad audiences. BRIDGE also supports significant capacity building activities, helping individuals and institutions to effectively gather, package and disseminate policy-relevant information on PHE. This three-pronged approach is aimed at ensuring that policy-makers are receiving PHE information and hearing the PHE story from multiple sources simultaneously. BRIDGE ultimately woks with policy makers on agenda setting and coalition building around relevant PHE policy issues.

Activities

  • Analysis: conducts analysis on pressing PHE problems. BRIDGE’s findings are produced in non-technical language in a variety of formats in order to reach a broad base of policymakers, project implementers, and interested individuals.
  • Technical assistance: provides different types of assistance to developing country partners, international NGOs, and government agencies, including: developing and disseminating training resources such as case studies and manuals; building coalitions and developing communication strategies; conducting gender analyses; and developing PHE partnerships and integration strategies.
  • Training: collaborates with partners to help PHE field practitioners develop the ability to mobilize and train others, use information for policy change, and design and manage projects.
  • Work with the media: conducts seminars to increase journalists’ understanding of PHE technical issues and give them first-hand exposure to PHE projects in the field.

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