Although India comes second highest amongst the world’s top 10 countries with diabetes, one in two people living with diabetes are still unaware of their condition. This lack of awareness sparkles a need for innovation to make people aware.
The Diabetes Storytelling Lab engages about 50 community leaders and storytellers in order to ensure that solutions are grounded in local realities. While much work has already been done to bring diabetes to the public agenda in India, a study projects that 134 million Indians will be diabetic in the next 25 years. So clearly, the problem still persists. Furthermore, Covid-19 poses extra challenges for people suffering from diabetes leading to an increase in serious complications and even death if infected.
Taking into account the urgency to address this issue and raise awareness around diabetes prevention, the World Diabetes Foundation and Dalberg Media, with the help of USAID are hosting a creative online process so as to generate ideas for diabetes awareness and prevention.
The Chairman of the World Diabetes Foundation’s Board Dr Anil Kapur said that storytelling is a deep-rooted tradition in Indian culture and has been used for thousands of years to convey human values and norms. Stories create connections and provide a great platform for learning and reflection.
From September 25 to October 16, 50 community leaders and storytellers will collaborate to come up with new and innovative ways of engaging Indian individuals and communities in the fight against diabetes.
Mission of Diabetes storytelling Lab
The mission of the Lab is to change the narrative around diabetes by bringing the affected individuals to the centre of innovations, a practice called human-centered design thinking. This approach ensures new insights, and the ability to create an end-product that resonates with those affected. Anchoring all solutions in storytelling helps evoke emotions that can change perceptions and behaviours.
At the end of the lab, the participants will have a prototype of their proposed solutions, ranging from social me campaigns and community events to books and podcasts and anything in between. A total of 25,000 USD will be distributed to top teams to support the implementation. of their ideas.
The Director of Dalberg Media, Stig Tackmann said – they believe there is both power and potential in engaging local community leaders and storytellers and let them come up with solutions. People on the ground have incredible insights and know their audiences better than any outsider. This allows them to communicate in ways that will actually make a difference.
With more than 333 million infected individuals in India, the current pandemic has brought to light the importance of awareness and education in health matters in the country.
Even though diabetics are not more prone to get infected by COVID-19 than the general population, they have a higher risk of suffering complications from it. USAID has supported the lab to ensure that selected teams will have resources available to consider COVID-19’s implications in India and all teams will be asked to consider the current situation of the pandemic when building their narratives.