Welcome to the International SBCC Summit

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Catalyzing transformational change on agendas of urgency

Never has adaptability, innovation and transformation been so urgently needed. Using lessons derived from the COVID-19 pandemic and the SDGs as our North Star, this theme will look at how we can accelerate transformational change in the critical, interconnected areas of:

  • Climate crisis and global heating
  • Gender equity
  • Disparities in health and wealth
  • Global inequality
  • Humanitarian action

Within this theme, we will explore: How has SBCC been applied to tackle racial and socioeconomic disparities, and broader political influences that impact health and development? How can SBCC foster resilience against the backdrop of emergencies and upheaval? How do dimensions of power and rights impact both the root problems and adoption of solutions? What lessons can we draw from the successes and failures in SBCC responses to COVID-19 about what does and doesn’t work in sparking large-scale behavior change? In what ways has the unevenness of access to COVID-19 information, services and care brought to light inequalities that need addressing?

These topics and other will be addressed through three lenses:

1.1      Expanding the boundaries of SBCC through multisectoral engagement and a focus on structural determinants. SBCC has the potential to cut across barriers and silos, bringing diverse partners together to solve complex problems. Leveraging these opportunities requires a coordinated and diverse multisectoral response at all levels. COVID-19 has reminded us of the power and importance of these multisectoral responses in the national and global spheres, among others. It has further highlighted the central role of communication at all levels of society. How can we engage with policymakers, donors, governments and other decision makers to better integrate and scale SBCC approaches?

Likewise, how can SBCC better align with structural determinants to foster greater accountability and impact? What transformations are needed in leadership, at all levels, to change the current dynamic? What structural and multisectoral interventions introduced through COVID-19 might have applicability as we look at tackling other urgent issues at scale?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Bridging disciplines to create sustainable social and structural change
  • Relevance of COVID-19’s lessons to other development issues
  • Leadership across sectors and influence groups (donors, government, civil society)

1.2      Harnessing SBCC for social justice. Health and wealth disparities, gender inequity and global inequality came into sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. These longstanding inequities have been further exacerbated by the pandemic within countries, across countries, and among marginalized groups, including those with disabilities. The lack of urgency to date around these social justice issues is compounded by longstanding political and social power dynamics. In looking forward, how can we challenge and address existing inequities that continue to marginalize vast populations across the globe? What is the role of SBCC in reshaping the power dynamics that perpetuate these disparities of health and wealth? What lessons emerged through our SBCC COVID-19 work that can be applied to these pressing issues?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Work on social justice within specific topics (urgent issues and experiences)
  • Experiences related to power dynamics around topical areas, especially:
    • Gender, health and other disparities
    • Climate action
    • Humanitarian response

1.3      Nurturing new voices for change and social movements. Long-lasting social change is most often brought about by specific moments in time that lead populations to demand and create catalytic change. In the past several years, we have witnessed this through the antiracist movement, the climate action agenda and others.

What role does SBCC play in supporting and sparking these movements for positive development outcomes? How do we ensure that those most impacted shape and lead the change? How can we elevate the voice of ordinary people in building participatory dialogue, particularly young people?

The 1.8 billion young people do not all look, think or speak the same way. How can we ensure that young people, in all their diversity, take a leadership role in agenda-setting? What are the structural and political barriers that prohibit full youth ownership of these issues which effect their present and their future? How do we more fully nurture trust, engagement and true partnership with youth and other marginalized voices? What can we learn from the challenges of trust around the COVID-19 response to inform action on other emergencies?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Experiences and evidence focused on social movements, collective voices and action
  • Experiences empowering youth
  • Addressing barriers to ownership, representation, agency and agenda-setting among marginalized groups

Future forward

The ways in which the world communicates continue to evolve rapidly in our increasingly interconnected and mediated world. In this context, informed and engaged participation in social and behavior change, and public discourse more broadly, is especially relevant.

Social media generally makes it easier to access diverse sources of information and connect with others but can also spread misinformation and enable close-minded echo chambers and discriminatory communities. These issues have been amplified by COVID-19 as we’ve witnessed the power of the digital media to disseminate and amplify disinformation, misinformation and rumors.

In this theme, we will explore three topics tied to the future of the field:

2.1      How digital media is transforming SBCC – both positively and negatively – and the implications for the field. How do we understand and engage with the array of evolving digital innovations – from artificial intelligence to big data to virtual reality? How can we identify mechanisms to leverage and enhance the democratization occurring through increased connectivity? What are the opportunities (and pitfalls) of social media and digital technologies for social connection and collaboration? How can we strengthen social listening as a process and a skill?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • The influence and role of digital media on both large and small scales
  • New digital technologies in the SBCC field
  • Digital democratization, equity and social justice

2.2      Issues around misinformation and disinformation will be explored within this theme with the aim of identifying effective response strategies, including technology-driven solutions.

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Experiences identifying and monitoring misinformation
  • Strategies for addressing disinformation and misinformation
  • The future of infodemics—the overabundance of information, both true and false

2.3      The future of the field. After two international SBCC summits, three regional SBC conferences, one year of implementation through the Global Alliance and increased donor dialogue in the intervening years, we will examine how the field has been shaped, what happened in the time of COVID-19 and what this means for the future.

How can we centralize the role of SBCC within the funding and political landscape? Does the recent momentum in the field position us to respond to future pandemics, challenges and opportunities? How can we optimize our respective strengths to collectively influence these trends and strengthen input in the field? What ethics should be guiding the field as we consider the need for greater voice, a focus on social justice and the role of the digital media?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Future directions for SBCC field – technologies and strategies
  • Ethical considerations in SBCC
  • Advocacy for SBCC

Connecting the dots

The COVID-19 pandemic is global and has connected us in ways we’ve rarely, if ever, seen before. We’re connected by shared livelihoods , by a news and digital media that bridge time and distance at unprecedented speeds, through national and subnational coordination, networks and partnerships, through international cooperation on vaccine development and deployment, and through global research and program funding.

Within this theme we will explore connections in two distinct areas with a focus on strengthening processes and support within the field:

3.1      Connecting for collective action – through co-design and co-creation – across different sectors, disciplines and stakeholder groups (particularly among civil society, academia, practitioners, private sector, networks, etc.), and generations (adults and youth). In this area, we will examine the role of civil society and consider strategies and tools for collective action. Questions to be explored include: How to effectively connect digital and on the ground networks? How to ensure processes are driven with and by those most effected? How can we remove power imbalances in our work across sectors and actors? What tools do we have for facilitating shared agenda-setting, collective action and social mobilization?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Facilitating collective action – through co-design, co-creation, networking, and social mobilization
  • Sharing platforms, disciplines and tools for collaboration and capacity strengthening
  • Sharing power for collective benefit; working across levels of social structure

3.2      Connecting the SBCC community to increase collaboration, share skills and resources and build capacity. The field has expanded considerably over the past decade. How, as a community, can we better facilitate discourse and action? How do we understand where the gaps are in the evolution of the field and how can we address them? What more can we do to map resources and support capacity strengthening to further elevate the potential and impact of the field across communities, countries and globally?

Other topics might include such things as:

  • Partnerships and networking within and across levels and sectors for increased impact (e.g., between donors, governments, private sector corporations, civil society)
  • Partnerships to address structural barriers and influence downstream action
  • Local and global discourse to grow SBCC – challenges, opportunities, experiences – pros and cons