Social and Behavior Change Communication
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been a transformational vehicle for facilitating the exchange of health information and promoting health behavior change. Digital health communication tools enhance existing communication channels by reaching individuals in more effective and targeted ways.
Understanding how to use digital communication technology for public health interventions is complex and nuanced. Continuously emerging research, data synthesis, and publicly shared tools are increasing our ability to effectively implement ICT solutions in facilitating health communication for social and behavior change.
Health is created through the interplay of biology and the social determinants that shape human interaction, like knowledge, attitudes, norms and cultural practices. Social and behavior change communication programs (SBCC) use the most powerful and fundamental human interaction – communication – to positively influence these social dimensions of health and well-being. In this context communication goes beyond the delivery of a simple message or slogan to encompass the full range of ways in which people individually and collectively convey meaning. Among the powerful tools employed by SBCC programs are mass media, community-level activities, interpersonal communication, information and communication technologies, and new media.
Research consistently shows evidence-based communication programs can increase knowledge, shift attitudes and cultural norms and produce changes in a wide variety of behaviors. SBCC has proven effective in several health areas, such as increasing the use of family planning methods, preventing HIV and AIDS, reducing the spread of malaria and other infectious diseases, and improving newborn and maternal health.Back to top