ADVOCACY ACTION TO FOSTER ACTIVE AGEING AND ELIMINATE STIGMA TOWARDS OLDER PEOLE TROUGH PROMOTING POSITIVE IMAGES OF AGEING
Awareness-raising campaign including public meetings and activities promoting
the active engagement and participation of elderly people
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund: Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Although the Republic of Azerbaijan has a relatively young population structure with 25 per cent of youth aged 15-29 (State Statistical Committee, 2017), the phenomenon of population aging is becoming more evident. The increasing level of social welfare has had a positive impact on the life expectancy over the last decade. The indicator is projected to reach 75.7 years by 2050. While between 1959 and 2009 the proportion of people aged 60 and above ranged from 8-9%, this proportion is expected to rise by more than 12% by 2020, up to 18% by 2030 and accounting for 25% of the total population by 2050”.
How older people are perceived can have implications on how they are treated in society. Societal perceptions of ageing and older people are frequently based on myths and stereotypes. Older people are often perceived as being conservative as well as being unhappy, lonely, isolated and overall undervalued by society. Although some evidence exists which indicates that older people are viewed as having the capacity to live long independent lives, the majority are stereotyped as becoming progressively frail and needing support as they get older. Negative perceptions and stereotyping can result in ageist behaviours which are conveyed through the workplace where older people are sometimes discriminated against because they are perceived to be incompetent and slow at their work. Ageism is also evident in education where healthcare students’ are unlikely to engage in work in geriatrics, as this is reportedly the least preferred area of work. Consequently, older people become isolated and socially excluded leaving older people in society vulnerable to elder abuse and neglect. It is therefore important to educate the people around by fostering and nourishing the positive attitudes towards the elderly people and ageing and ensuring that the society is better informed on the opportunities of population ageing and better address the challenges.
Hence, the project intends to challenge attitudes towards ageing and older people and raise public awareness of the changing needs of elderly through a combination of various strategies including inter alia through traditional and modern media, focusing on positive role models and practices.
UNFPA Azerbaijan CO partners with the Government of Azerbaijan and civil society actors to implement the project aimed at promoting wellbeing of the elderly persons in Azerbaijan through active ageing. This will be achieved through the series of interrelated activities on producing improved data, increased public awareness on the issue of ageing, and piloting relevant interventions aimed at supporting the elderly to live healthier, more independent lives through the provision of social services using participatory approach.
Awareness raising targeting the community members has proven itself as a useful method to achieve the expected results including both the elimination of attitudinal barriers and the effective utilization of the potential of elderly. By targeting the local community members, the project is expected to raise public awareness about the issues and challenges experienced by older people, such as ageism, stereotypes and other common misconceptions surrounding aging.
UNFPA Azerbaijan in partnership with the Government counterparts and a local NGO to be selected following the true and open competition of the tender process will be responsible for conducting a series of public meetings/awareness raising sessions in the selected regions of Azerbaijan to engage mixed community groups with diverse backgrounds to increase their awareness and knowledge of the issues concerning the well-being of the elderly people in Azerbaijan, create a better awareness of the needs and preferences of people as they age.
A positive image of older persons should be promoted eradicating all negative stereotypes and attitudes leading to the segregation of older citizens.
Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager and in close cooperation with the delegated representatives of the UNFPA and the MLSPP to:
- Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy which identifies the information needs of the targeted audience, key messages and activities to be implemented in the framework of the awareness raising campaign;
- Ensure effective planning and implementation of awareness raising campaign through development of the comprehensive work plan/time schedule;
- Conduct public awareness raising campaign through various activities, including but not limited to public meetings with participation of community members, events that address existing stereotypes and other common misconceptions around ageing and elderly persons, etc;
- Identify facilitators/experts for the community awareness information sessions and develop a respective agenda in close cooperation with UNFPA Azerbaijan CO;
- Provide the road map of the information sessions, including the number of participants, venue and dates of the events;
- Compile an inventory of stakeholders and submit recommendations for their involvement;
- Provide full organizational and logistical support for the information sessions and awareness raising activities. This will include but not limited to the arrangement of a training venue, meals, coffee breaks, equipment, etc.;
- Use creative techniques to organize info sessions – organizers are free/most welcome to propose the alternative format for conducting the awareness raising sessions subject to the approval of UNFPA Azerbaijan CO;
- Provide UNFPA CO with the registration/participant list of the sessions, awareness raising activities, etc.;
- Provide the detailed information regarding increased sensitivity of the participants towards the issues taught (pre- and post-evaluation);
- Identify and organize activities promoting the active engagement and participation of elderly people in a range of arts, cultural, spiritual, leisure, learning and physical activities in their local communities;
- Identify and map appropriate communication channels for enhancing public awareness at the national and local levels;
- Design and implement the campaign’s communication strategy/plan to ensure that the project action is widely publicized through various communication channels including social media;
- Provide UNFPA CO with the comprehensive narrative and financial reports with full package of supporting documents.
- Work Settings:
Contract duration: October, 2019 – December, 2020
- Specific Conditions:
Ownership of the output: UNFPA and the MLSPP
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