Digging into SBCC for Integrated Health Programs

When should you use SBCC to address multiple health behaviors and outcomes? How is it different from addressing one health outcome? What have we learned about integrated SBCC programs that can guide others?


Hope Hempstone, USAID and Dr. Sanji Velu, HC3

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), under its work with the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities brought together a small group of experts this week to answer these questions. It was a fascinating and inspiring two days. As we grappled with these questions, it was clear that we are blazing a trail here. Although many people in the room have been working on integrated programs for decades, the answers were not straight forward – not even to define what we mean when we say “integrated” – and no clear guidance is available to help others starting out on this journey.

In some cases, it was clear that designing integrated SBCC is much the same as designing a single-focus program in terms of the process, principles and science. Integration just amplifies the need to be strategic. But in other cases, there were clearly specific challenges and approaches that are different.


Attendees of the expert consultation on the use of SBCC in integrated health programs.

As a result of two days of discussions and debate, the group started to flesh out a typology of integrated programs, identified guidance, challenges and opportunities for each stage of the SBCC process, and explored some of the priority research questions still to be answered. Over the coming months, HC3 will be transforming these discussions into a package of guidance that will help organizations design, implement, monitor and evaluate the best integrated SBCC that they can. Watch this space!

Do you have experience implementing or evaluating an integrated SBCC program? We’d love to hear from you. Head over to Springboard for Health Communication and let us know what you are working on via a post.


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