How-to Guides

SBCC How-to Guides are short guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform core SBCC tasks. To find a Guide, select a communication process step in the graphic or the drop-down menu.

  • Inquire is the first step in the communication process. In this step you set a vision and conduct an analysis of the situation, the audiences, and programs.
  • Design is the second step in the communication process. In this step you create a communication strategy that includes communication objectives, audience segmentation, program approaches, channel selection, a monitoring and evaluation plan, and implementation plan.
  • Create and Test is the third step in the communication process. In this step you design, test, revise, and produce final communication products including materials, activities, and processes. 
  • Mobilize and Monitor is the fourth step in the communication process. In this step you mobilize your partners, implement your program and monitor its progress. 
  • Evaluate and Evolve is the fifth step in the communication process. In this step you evaluate your program and use lessons learned to inform development of upcoming programs.
  • SBCC Theory: Communication theories should guide program design and evaluation. These theories help predict how the audience will change through exposure to the SBCC program and measure success accordingly.
  • Stakeholder Participation: The communication process works best when program partners, decision-makers, audience members and technical experts are actively involved in each step. Engaging these stakeholders throughout the process spreads ownership and encourages sustainability.
  • Capacity Strengthening: Successful programs seek to strengthen local SBCC capacity so that partners can use what they learn to design, implement and evaluate programs and solve problems as they arise in real time. Learning should be happening all the time and at all levels.
  • Organizational Development: A strong organization is critical to being able to successfully implement SBCC programs. Organizational development focuses on improving leadership, management, systems, and financial sustainability.

How-to Guides

Interpersonal communication (IPC) is the tailored exchange or sharing of information, thoughts, ideas and feelings between two or more people to address behavioral determinants of health. It is influenced by attitudes, values, social norms and the individuals’ immediate environment. IPC can be one way or two way. It can also be verbal, non-verbal or both. Types of IPC include one-on-one interactions (at clinic or community), small group interactions, large group discussions, hotlines, supportive supervision visits, peer education, parent-child or inter-spousal communication.

A communication strategy is the critical piece bridging the situation analysis and the implementation of a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program. It is a written plan that details how an SBCC program will reach its vision, given the current situation. Effective communication strategies use a systematic process and behavioral theory to design and implement communication activities that encourage sustainable social and behavior change.

The brand personality is a description of the brand, expressed in two to four adjectives, as if it were a person, such as friendly, bold, smart or confident. The personality is used to shape the tone and voice for all brand communication, including advertisements, packaging and the brand name. Brand execution is the material components of a brand – logos, colors, fonts, the ‘look and feel’ – that differentiate a brand in the mind of the audience. Execution is designed to take the product, service or behavior, and create a desired image and perception around it. The executional elements should complement the brand positioning and personality. Developing the executional elements is the last step in developing a brand strategy.

Brand positioning is the identification and promotion of the most important and unique benefit that the product/service/behavior represents in the mind of the audience. It identifies what is unique and compelling about the brand, and how the brand is different from the competition. Positioning helps an SBCC program be perceived in a positive light by the audience. Positioning, however, is ‘behind the scenes.’ While it guides the marketing strategy, it is never explicitly stated in external marketing materials.

Audience insight refers to an understanding of the emotional motivations and needs of the audience. An insight goes beyond descriptive demographic data, such as age, gender or income level, and describes a key piece of information about how the audience feels in relation to a specific product, service or behavior. An audience insight statement is comprised of two fundamental components: A summary of the understanding of the audience’s identified needs, and the key problem they have faced trying to fulfill this need.

A stakeholder workshop is one way to engage stakeholders – those who are affected by, have a direct interest in, or are somehow involved with the problem identified during the situation analysis - and gatekeepers – those who control access to people or resources needed – when developing a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy. The program team invites stakeholders and gatekeepers to a short workshop to seek their input on the proposed program or to achieve consensus.

Indicators are tools used to measure Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) program progress. They are used to assess the state of a program by defining its characteristics or variables, and then tracking changes in those characteristics over time or between groups. Clear indicators are the basis of any effective monitoring and evaluation system.

A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan is a document that helps to track and assess the results of the interventions throughout the life of a program. It is a living document that should be referred to and updated on a regular basis. While the specifics of each program’s M&E plan will look different, they should all follow the same basic structure and include the same key elements.

Logic models are program planning tools that define the inputs, outputs, outcomes of a program in order to explain the thinking behind program design and show how specific program activities lead to desired results. Defining inputs, outputs, and outcomes early in program planning ensures a deliberate flow of activity to results. Logic models are visual tools that can help programs create action plans for activities. They also help program implementers see the way in which the individual pieces fit into larger program objectives and goals.

A channel mix plan for a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program is a strategic document that identifies the types of communication channels that best reach the priority audience to deliver the messages and the optimal blend of channels that maximizes reach and effectiveness of the messages. Ultimately, the channel mix selected for the program depends on the communication landscape, audience characteristics, the program’s objectives and messages, reach and intensity, and budget.

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