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The rapid growth of mobiles and the internet have changed the ways in which communication and development take place. It is strongly perceived that the subject of mobile as a tool for social and behavioural change is an emerging area of importance among stakeholders in communication for development space. The development challenge is how to place the mobile tool at the heart of solving key communication-related hurdles in areas of education, health, livelihood and environmental disasters.UNICEF defines; ‘Communication for Development (C4D)’ as a communication tool to understand people, their beliefs and values, the social and cultural norms that shape their lives. It involves engaging communities and listening to adults and children as they identify problems, propose solutions and act upon them. C4D is seen as a two-way process for sharing ideas and knowledge using a range of communication tools and approaches that empower individuals and communities to take actions to improve their lives[1].

‘Mobile Phone as a Tool for Social & Behaviour Change’ is a joint effort of UNICEF India and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to explore various projects where women, adolescent girls and youth have effectively used mobiles in areas of health, education, sanitation, environment and monitoring and training of frontline workers. Trying to examine the prospects of Mobile Phone as a Tool for Social & Behaviour Change, DEF and UNICEF India organised a two-day consultation on, 9th and 10th May 2013 in New Delhi.

Based on the consultation, UNICEF India and DEF published three research reports – case studies, complete compendium with full research paper, excerpts from the consultation and the white paper. On the basis of the report UNICEF India and DEF have decided to extend the initiative to work out a model, which can later be adapted and implemented on a larger scale.

The second part of the project attempts to scale up at a wider level and provide solution-based tools to various ongoing challenges surrounding the issue of women, adolescents, youth, girls, children and sectors across health, education, nutrition, and empowerment. This project attempt to study concerns around MSBC and create a formidable platform to provide knowledge on diverse MSBC implemented projects and help in developing partnerships between state governments and MSBC players.

Targeted states are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.