Further down the road with Riders for Health

by Anjali Sastry on November 16, 2011

We looked at Riders for Health for the third time this year, which we here at MIT always enjoy doing. And this time were lucky enough to get a call into class from Lakshmi Karan, the organization’s Global Strategy Director.

What makes the Riders model work? Our past blog posts present some ideas (start with the earliest, here), but we found more issues of note to discuss in class. We appreciated the time and effort required for Riders to initiate their large-scale national program in the Gambia, presented via links in last year’s post discussing the Transportation Asset Management model.

A recent resource that adds some more depth to another theme we touched upon. A UK-based organization, The National Social Marketing Centre, carried out a case study and created a thoughtful video that lays out a picture of Riders that draws on the notion of behavior change.

That’s an area that The National Social Marketing Centre works on with its clients–they aim “to achieve behaviour change by developing creative, research-driven programmes which lead to positive, measurable and sustained results.”

If you want to learn more, check out the materials here and download their 2010 case study.

So, whose behavior is being changed by Riders for Health?

Here’s my take on some possible answers to that question:

  • Health-seeking behaviors could increase in the populations served, because when the health worker is reliably present, prospective patients are more likely to get care and follow up.
  • Health workers’ motivation and engagement in their work increases when they are able to get to where they need to go, efficiently and when they choose.
  • Ministries of health, district officials, and other leaders and managers within the health system change their approach to investment and maintenance for their fleets.
  • Misuse of transportation vehicles is reduced.
  • Professionals understand the value of investing in all the elements of preventative maintenance–including training, stocking, managing, monitoring, and and planning.

 

What do you think? Is motorcycle maintenance a vehicle for behavior change?

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