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SBCC and why it is important for nutrition programs


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Previously known as behavior change communication (BCC), SBCC is the strategic use of communication approaches to promote changes in knowledge, attitudes, norms, beliefs and behaviors.

Under SBCC, programs are designed on the basis of existing data and they follow a systematic process. The problem is analyzed in order to define barriers and motivators to change, and a set of tailored interventions that promote the desired behaviors are designed. SBCC has three components; communication, social change and behavior change.

Once the process is complete, an SBCC strategy is the document that guides the design of interventions, establishing intended audiences, setting behavioral communication objectives and determining consistent messages, materials and activities across channels.

At PanAfricare-Kenya, through the IMPACT Program, we are implementing a variety of SBCC approaches (group or peer education, community outreach, mobilization, mass media campaigns and promotion of policy-level changes that support positive social norms). These approaches are all aimed changing behavior to improve nutrition at the household level.

Most of the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition are behavioral-influenced by the behaviors of individuals and their household members. Nutrition is also influenced, however, by the behaviors of many other actors.

These actors range from healthcare providers, farmers, agricultural agents, community leaders and policymakers etc. who collectively directly or indirectly influence care and feeding practices access to healthcare services and household food security.

SBCC recognizes that people act in the context of those around them (community, family, religion and county). In nutrition intervention, effective SBCC can simultaneously facilitate change in the social, physical, market, and policy environments to enable individuals to adopt and maintain the behaviors being promoted (exclusive breastfeeding, production and consumption of balanced diets and positive gender norms)

Illustrative and culture-specific community booklets, nutrition posters and community dialogue cards are some of the materials that used to reinforce behavior change.


SBCC implementation requires a multidimensional approach in message dissemination. Constant contact with messages of desired behavior by the targeted group over a long period eventually results in change in behavior.