BISC Partners and DemLab will jointly implement an initiative aimed at increasing access to and awareness of gender-inclusive health services using behavioral science.
The initiative is being implemented with the support of the United Kingdom within the framework of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an ongoing project – Increasing Resilience in Eastern Europe.
The main task of the initiative is to reduce the harmful effects of discrimination and gender stereotypes and increase access to gender-inclusive services by creating and piloting a behavior change model among medical staff.
“According to the research carried out in 2020 in Georgia, 14.4% of the respondents indicate that they beacme a victim of discrimination while receiving health care services in the last two years. 78.3% of the respondents did not report the discriminatory fact, the reason being the perception of the action as an insufficiently serious fact (25.0%) and the risks of privacy violation (19.4%). As a result of society’s homophobic attitudes, the part of LGBTQI+ people who have not had a negative experience with medical personnel refrains from visiting a doctor. The reason is to expect discrimination in the community and to avoid possible negative experiences. Such attitudes harm both the patient’s rights and may affect the health status of community representatives. Within the framework of this project, we will work with representatives of both the medical field and the community to develop an ethical and inclusive standard of medical services and help medical service institutions to implement them.” – Katie Gomelauri, Board Chair & Behavioral Science Lead at BISC Partners.
At the initial stage of the project, behavioral science experts will conducta behavioral insights study to identify the main psychological, structural or social barriers to discussing or discovering gender-sensitive topics in doctor-patient relationships – both among medical staff and community representatives.
Based on the studied behavior and context, interventions will be developed that focus on the root causes of the problem and overcome barriers to the target behavior or encourage motivators. According to the issues identified in the conducted research, DemLab will implement an awareness raising campaign among representatives of the LGBT community and other stakeholders.
Several leading medical service providers of Georgia are taking part in the pilot project. In cooperation with them, it is planned to introduce gender-sensitive service standards.
The study findings and behavioral guidelines will be presented to the medical community and the general public in February.