Projecting Health

A Collaborative Project with PATH

Engaging communities through visual communication

Public health programs have historically encouraged healthy behaviors through social behavior change and communication (SBCC) approaches. Years of experience have shown us that the more people can relate to communication messages, the greater their impact. What if there was a way to empower local communities to develop and produce their own education programs to directly influence one another?

Utilizing advances in digital technology, PATH, University of Washington, and its partners are revolutionizing SBCC methodology with a new approach for health education. Projecting Health, focuses on community-led use of digital media to effectively improve health knowledge and behaviors. The new method equips communities with basic skills and low-cost tools for targeted message creation and delivery bolstered by scientific evidence and visual demonstrations. The Projecting Health model can be easily integrated into existing government structures and community-support programming, and is already demonstrating enormous potential to transform health education and SBCC across the globe.

Revolutioning behavior change models

Community engagement is critical to effect change, address barriers, and ensure sustainable action for better health outcomes at local levels. Traditionally, SBCC programs have sought to improve health practices by addressing gaps in awareness through the development of education and communication materials, such as pamphlets, posters and/or radio/television campaigns. The Projecting Health model transforms these methods by using customized educational videos that are developed and produced by the communities and shared via low-cost, portable projectors and other mobile devices. Through this innovative approach, PATH is maximizing the potential impact on improving health practices while reducing the challenges of time, money, and resources to influence those behaviors.

Current easy-to-use digital media technologies allow for a simplified approach for targeted message development and delivery. PATH’s digital messaging model combines focused health information with visual demonstrations aligned with local customs and dialects. Additionally, this visual approach allows the flexibility to focus on barriers and drivers for health practices specific to that community, with familiar and trusted individuals conveying the information to provide the social context and support for practicing health-seeking behaviors. As a result, the videos are relatable and impactful to the viewer (e.g., a mother), as she can recognize and identify with the actors and issues from within her own community. The result is a more enriching discussion and sharing of experiences between her and her peers and a subsequent adoption of effective health practices.

Igniting innovation in India

Over the past three years, PATH, UW and its partners launched the Projecting Health project in 84 villages across 3 blocks in Uttar Pradesh, India. We have successfully integrated the model into existing community support programs, such as mothers’ group meetings and village health and nutrition days. Community members have already developed, acted in, and shared numerous health videos, and preliminary data suggest that these screenings have improved local health knowledge and maternal and newborn care practices.


  • A. Vashistha, N. Kumar, and R. Anderson. Mobile Video Dissemination for Community Health. ICTD. Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD '16), 2016 (PDF).
  • N. Kumar and R. Anderson. Mobile Phones for Maternal Health in Rural India. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 427-436, 2015 (PDF)
  • N. Kumar, T. Perrier, M. Desmond, K. Israel-Ballard, V. Kumar, S. Mahapatra, A. Mishra, S. Agarwal, R. Gandhi, P. Lal, and R.Anderson. Projecting Health: Community-led video education for maternal health. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD '15), 2015 (PDF)
  • Mobile Video for Patient Education: The Midwives' perspective. Brittany Fiore-Silfvast, Carl Hartung, Kirti Iyengar, Sharad Iyengar, Kiersten Israel-Ballard, Noah Perin and Richard Anderson, ACM Symposium for Computing and Development (DEV 2013), Bangalore India, 2013 (PDF)

Video links

In 2014, PATH produced short video describing the project link.

Over 70 videos have been created in the project, covering a wide range of topics including birth preparation, breastfeeding, sanitation, family planning and immunization. Here is a selection of links to the videos:

  • Immunization link
  • Adolescent Nutrition link
  • Immediate and Exculsive Breastfeeding link