How-to Guides

SBC How-to Guides are short guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform core social and behavior change tasks. From formative research through monitoring and evaluation, these guides cover each step of the SBC process, offer useful hints, and include important resources and references.

  • 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 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.

A creative brief is a short, written document used by project managers and creative professionals to guide the development of creative materials (e.g. drama, film, visual design, narrative copy, advertising, websites, slogans) to be used in communication campaigns. Usually, it is no more than two pages in length, sets the direction, defines the audience(s), focuses on the key messages and shows the desired results for an SBCC campaign or materials.

Audience segmentation is a key activity within an audience analysis. It is the process of dividing a large audience into smaller groups of people - or segments - who have similar needs, values or characteristics. Segmentation recognizes that different groups will respond differently to social and behavior change communication (SBCC) messages and interventions.

An audience analysis is a process used to identify and understand the priority and influencing audiences for a SBCC strategy. The priority and influencing audiences are those people whose behavior must change in order to improve the health situation.

Formative research is an activity conducted at the beginning of the SBCC project design process. It is used to gain insight into the health issue or behavior the project intends to address; relevant characteristics of primary and secondary audiences; communication access, habits and preferences; and the main drivers of behavior.

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