Behavioral science, the evidence-based study of how people behave, make decisions, and respond to context (UN Innovation Network), offers promise in designing interventions to increase vaccine uptake, but its application in immunization has been limited to date.
Through the Behavioral Science Immunization Network (BeSIN) project, JSI supports online and offline engagement at the global and country levels to increase knowledge of and strengthen the capacity of immunization practitioners to use behavioral science approaches. In collaboration with Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Boost Community, JSI established online networks for peer-learning and discussion on behavioral science approaches and resources.
JSI works with local government and academic partners in Ghana and Nepal to conduct formative research on the behavioral drivers behind routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake; strengthen the capacity of government, academic, and civil society stakeholders to use behavioral science data for immunization programming; and support partners to design and test behaviorally-informed interventions to increase vaccine uptake.
In Ghana, JSI works with the Ghana Health Service to strengthen the capacity of health and immunization professionals to understand and apply behavioral science approaches to develop effective interventions to increase immunization confidence and uptake. In collaboration with local partners, JSI will use human-centered design to develop and test behaviorally-informed interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake among urban populations in the capital city, Accra.
In Nepal, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences established a Behavioral Science Center with a sub-team focused on immunization supported by JSI and UNICEF. Through the Center, JSI will collaborate with Nepali government, academic, and civil society stakeholders to identify ways to continue to strengthen behavioral science competencies and sustain and maintain the use of behavioral science in health policies and programs.
Additional resources that JSI experts contributed to can be found at the WHO Essential Programme on Immunization website.