On April 23, SHOPS Plus hosted a workshop in Port-au-Prince to share and discuss findings from a market segmentation analysis of family planning (FP), home water treatment (HWT), and child health (CH) data from the 2016-2017 Haiti Demographic Health Survey.
Leaders from USAID, the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP), the National Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the Field Support Services Project, and others participated. With support from a health services and policy analysis expert, Nicole Bellows, and SHOPS Plus Child Health Advisor Catherine Clarence, the project’s chief of party for Haiti, Jean Biyik, and its monitoring and evaluation director, Veldony Argant, shared the findings alongside Marcus Cadet, a representative from the MSPP Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, which collaborated on the analysis.
Addressing the need for a better understanding of the Haitian market
SHOPS Plus and MSPP examined the socio-demographics, behaviors, knowledge, intentions, and geography of segments of the population that have different practices related to the current or potential use of FP, HWT, and CH products and services. Using the profiles of these segments, the project was able to identify priority segments to target and refine messaging to best respond to the needs and barriers for each group. The detailed understanding of the Haitian market will empower local actors to create more effective programmatic approaches and communication campaigns to reach those who have a demonstrated need for these products and services.
According to Bellows, lead researcher in the analysis, “An in-depth analysis of DHS data can reveal insights important to understanding the health market.” The data show information that is critical to shaping sustainable markets.
The project, in collaboration with its local partner, the Réseau Haïtien de Journalistes en Santé, will disseminate information to specific groups in each respective market. This will be accomplished through a combination of radio and TV spots, printed materials, and digital health approaches like SMS, integrated voice response, and social media.
FP products and services
SHOPS Plus identified three target groups for FP products and services. The first comprises women of reproductive age that have an unmet need for FP and intend to use FP in the future; the second refers to women that do not have an unmet need for FP now but have expressed intention to use FP in the future; and a third group includes women who are using a short-term method but do not want any more children and could be better served by using long-acting or permanent methods. Based on these findings, the project’s communications strategy will address common myths and misconceptions about FP use and side effects, share information on product use, including advantages, and promote sexual and reproductive health services.
Home water treatment
SHOPS Plus identified two target groups for home water treatment. One group includes people who access improved water sources (not necessarily safe to drink) but do not treat their water. The other group comprises people who do not treat their water and do not access improved water sources. They are at high risk for water contaminants. The communications campaign will focus on presenting the dangers of unsafe drinking water and the benefits of using socially marketed home water treatments like Puritabs or Gayden Dlo, both SHOPS Plus-supported brands.
SHOPS Plus focused on the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc to treat diarrhea in children. The analysis identified two groups: one does not use ORS or recommends a home remedy, and the other uses ORS without zinc. The key messages for these target groups will be focused on communicating the danger of diarrhea for children and the risk of not using an ORS-zinc co-pack to treat symptoms.
Informing public and private sector programming for a total market approach
The dissemination workshop provided an opportunity to present the findings on the segmentation analysis and facilitate group discussion to generate recommendations and next steps. SHOPS Plus structured the group discussion around questions to establish an understanding of the organizations involved in the segmentation analysis health areas and identify best practices and strategic communications channels for target market segments.
The proposed recommendations fell into four categories: policy changes, service delivery quality improvement, communication, and research. In addition to the need for an integrated communications approach in collaboration with these activities, the group also highlighted the need for training and ongoing supervision at community and provider levels as well as high-level, public-private engagement. Participants at the workshop also identified the need to establish an FP advocacy group, increase financial and technical support to the 2017-2019 HWT national strategy, and strengthen collaboration between the public sector and private HWT and CH pharmaceutical distributors.
The findings and the continued discussion around the analysis are intended to support decision making in the public and private sectors to increase the use of these products and services, and inform a broader total market approach.