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

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.

In social and behavior change communication (SBCC), a message is a statement containing key points of information that a program wants to communicate to an audience to encourage behavior change. Message design is the process of connecting insights about the priority audience with key information the audience needs to know in order to make the change the program desires. Successful, well-designed messages are simple, memorable, easily understood, culturally appropriate and meaningful to the audience. Their design stems from a clear creative brief that outlines what the communication intervention aims to achieve.

A program analysis is the process of looking at an organization’s intended social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program and then identifying enabling and limiting factors to implementing it successfully. A program analysis is used as a planning tool when the program is under development and helps the program team explore various factors that may enhance or constrain the planned SBCC program and then utilizes the findings for program design.

A root cause analysis is a process used to identify the primary source of a problem. In social and behavior change communication (SBCC), a root cause analysis is used to examine why there is a difference between the desired state of a health or social issue (vision) and what is happening now (current situation).

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.

Materials adaptation is the process of modifying existing social and behavior change communication (SBCC) materials for a different audience, topic or setting. While this involves more than just translating the materials into the local language or modifying the artwork, adapting materials might include adjustments to the cultural context, modifications of the message or updates to the technical information.

Materials are a primary means by which health programs deliver social and behavior change communication (SBCC) messages. There are many types of SBCC materials, including printed brochures, the script for a television advertisement, a guide for facilitating a group discussion, a Facebook page or an Internet-based game. Materials development brings together the most effective messages with materials for the best combination of channels – the channel mix - in order to reach and influence the priority audiences.

A situation analysis or environmental analysis is the fundamental first step in the social and behavior change communication change (SBCC) process. It involves a systematic collection and study of health and demographic data, study findings and other contextual information in order to identify and understand the specific health issue to be addressed. It examines the current status of the health issue as well as the social, economic, political and health context in which the health issue exists and establishes the vision for the SBCC program.

Pretesting is the process of bringing together members of the priority audience to react to the components of a communication campaign before they are produced in final form. Pre-testing measures the reaction of the selected group of individuals and helps determine whether the priority audience will find the components - usually draft materials understandable, believable and appealing.

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