The world of public health emergencies is changing. Our response must change with it. Not “if,” but “when” is the reality of emergency preparedness for public health. Whether it’s a disease outbreak such as Ebola, Zika, yellow fever or typhoid or a slow-moving catastrophe like global climate change, governments, donors and implementing partners must move away from a reactive response towards one of preparedness and resilience – with communities at the center.
Social and behavior change communication (SBCC) is a powerful approach to understanding the social determinants that affect people’s behaviors and shaping these behaviors into collectively protective actions. It is deeply human-centered, and addresses not only the intellectual needs of individuals and communities for factual information, but also the emotional drivers associated with behavior. When SBCC is integrated into emergency preparedness and response, it protects long-term development gains by building resilience in health systems and communities.
With the support of USAID, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is working with public health systems in Africa and Latin America in various phases of an emergency – from prevention and preparedness, through to crisis response and recovery.
- Emergency Preparedness in Guinea-Bissau
- Rapid Zika Landscaping and Strategic Development in Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Guatemala.
- Ebola Response, Recovery and Revitalization in Liberia
- Ebola Recovery and Health Systems Strengthening in Guinea
- Ebola Recovery and Health Systems Strengthening in Sierra Leone
HC3 is also developing the Emergency Helix: A Framework for for Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response with Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) which highlights the essential role of SBCC throughout a public health emergency. Comment on the current draft framework on Springboard.
More on Emergency Preparedness and SBCC
Using SBCC in Emergency Response: Lessons Learned from Ebola
Reverend John Sumo led social mobilization efforts for Liberia’s Ministry of Health during the Ebola crisis that ravaged West Africa in 2014 and 2015 and resulted in more than 11,000 deaths. This video debuted at the Catalyzing Social and Behavior Change Communication in Public Health Emergencies event, held November 10 in Washington, DC.