course ID: 2021_cDG

Generating Demand for better public health goods and services: A systems and consumer centered approach

This course is sponsored by Sight and Life. Scholarships are available.


Eat more vegetables. Always wear your seat belt. Quit smoking. Recycle. These are the kinds of actions that can benefit an entire community and are frequently promoted by public health practitioners. But, if these things are ever going to happen, individuals must change their behaviour. Human behaviour is complex and often unpredictable, and therefore simply giving people information rarely results in longer term changes in behaviour. However, established tools and new innovations in behavioural science and social marketing can be used to positively impact on many behaviours, as well as being used to increase service uptake and generate demand for healthy goods.

Day 1 of this course provides an introduction to social marketing. Days 2 and 3 will take participants through the planning process and explore the key principles. Although delivered virtually, the 3-day workshop will be highly interactive with a lot of group activities and breakout sessions, live polls, Q&A time, and case examples used to illustrate key concepts. Participants will also get a chance to work in teams as well as applying the behaviour change tools to their own projects. 


  • Explain the core elements of successful social marketing demand creation
  • Learn how to “pitch” social marketing demand creation ideas and sustainable business models to senior management, stakeholders, and donors to gain buy-in.
  • Explore how innovations in behavioural science and consumer insights are used to create demand for better public health goods and services.
  • Understand the planning process used in developing successful demand creation initiatives.
  • Identify, prioritise and segment the target audience.
  • Understand the importance of formative research in demand-creation work and how to ask the right questions.
  • Discuss important issues related to public-private partnerships in trying to reach public health goals.
  • Develop a social marketing intervention mix based on insights.
  • Critically appraise at least two programmes in which public-private partnerships have been used to achieve public health outcomes.
  • Understand why putting on your ‘business hat’ is important when thinking of improving nutrition and public health goods and services at scale.
  • Explain at least three programmes in which social and behaviour change was used as a tool for development and discuss the strengths of those particular applications.

Pedagogical methods

Mixture of live lectures, pre-recorded sessions, case examples, group work, and individual working.

Rowena Merritt

Senior Advisor on Consumer Insights and Social Marketing, Sight & Life

Kalpana Beesabathuni

Global Lead, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life

Breda Gavin-Smith

Global Public Health Nutrition Manager, Sight and Life

Puja Peyden Tshering

Consumer Insight Specialist,  Sight and Life