Building the Evidence Base for Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)
Written by Gael O'Sullivan   

2016 was a pivotal year for those of us working to improve health behaviors in developing countries. Drawing on behavioral science, social marketing, anthropology and other related disciplines, the SBCC community is actively curating, analyzing, and cataloguing the evidence base to demonstrate what works best to prevent illness and unintended pregnancy, treat sick people successfully, and shift social and cultural norms to strengthen the health enabling environment.  USAID, WHO, UNICEF and others are actively pursuing different yet related efforts to compile behavior change evidence on: 1) maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, 2) malaria, 3) family planning and 4) water and sanitation (WASH).  A number of guidance protocols, evidence summaries and journal publications will be produced through these initiatives, which will spur the SBCC community forward with a solid toolbox of best practices. Stay tuned for social marketing-specific findings that will add to our iSMA toolbox as well. In the meantime, if you are interested to join some of the conversations related to these topics, check out: http://www.coregroup.org/our-technical-work/working-groups/social-and-behavior-change and https://healthcomspringboard.org/.  In addition, the Communication Initiative is currently holding a global consultation to identify the best ways for our worldwide social and behavior change network to organize and engage: http://www.comminit.com/global/content/consultation-global-mechanism-communication-media-social-and-behaviour-change.