First International Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Summit 2016: Provides Direction to SBCC Activities

Post by:Kiran Bam, SBC Specialist, Saath-Saath Project (SSP)/FHI 360 Nepal

I participated in First International Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Ministry of Health, USAID, and Health Communication Capacity Collaborative from February 8-10, 2016. The SBCC Summit’s theme was “Elevating the Science and Art of Social and Behavior Change Communication.” There were altogether 700 participants from 52 countries envisioning to bring together the global community of SBCC organizations, professionals and researchers to advance the practice of the behavior change communication.

kiransummitAt this global platform of the SBCC Summit, I participated as a speaker in technical panel themed “Building blocks: From Micro to Macro” on the first day of the Summit. I presented paper from USAID-funded SSP, “Microplanning: An Innovative Process to Empower and Engage Outreach Staff for Strategic Behavior Communication for HIV Prevention in Nepal.” The presentation covered the concepts on microplanning in HIV prevention, process, its importance, and achievements made so far.

The three day Summit was focused on sharing of the SBCC innovations, good practices and lesson learned to deliver well-designed health communication and positive health outcomes through information booths, poster and oral presentations. All of the sessions of SBCC Summit were quite effective in delivering the key message how employing local level SBCC interventions can have impact at large and in on the human behaviors particular. Integration of the SBCC interventions at local cultural context play crucial role for change, and use of the available technologies maximize the outcomes of the SBCC interventions. These learnings could be used in Nepal to promote local level SBCC initiatives yet further, using available existing channels, and integrating SBCC interventions within the cultural context. Most liked session for me was on “Fun and Games Changing Lives: SBCC in Low Literacy Settings.” During the session, games related to HIV prevention, ART adherence, and condom use were demonstrated through the role-plays. Those games seemed quite interesting and interactive which could be used during SSP trainings in future days.

kiransummit2At the same forum, Springboard for Health Communication Professional’s app was launched to share health communication knowledge, experiences and resources. Springboard is an online social networks that connects SBCC practitioners around a variety of technical areas. The three day summit ended with the intriguing session and which provided SBCC planners from different parts of the world with inspirations and ideas for the Addis Declaration. The Addis Declaration marks the first milestone in shaping the SBCC activities and outlines the future strategies and priorities for one of the key approach to healthy behavior. Learnings from the Summit will be helpful to design and develop SBCC interventions such as the messages, campaigns and capacity development activities and to further accelerate the SBCC activities in halting the transmission of HIV in Nepal.

This forum was definitely a broader platform for knowledge sharing and skill building and the learnings can be best replicated in Nepalese context.

Interested in learning more about the Springboard app? Download it here: