ideas42 Heads to SBCC Summit

Using Behavioral Science to Advance Social and Behavior Change Communications Programs

Social and behavior change communications are powerful methods for achieving global health goals. But a decade of work adding behavioral science to these programs has made clear that they could be even more effective using behavioral design.

Behavioral design is intervention-agnostic. This means we consider whether other environmental changes might be necessary to accomplish true behavior change. By adding the rigor and evidence of behavioral science to social and behavior change communications programs, we’re able to more effectively shift social norms, catalyze social movements, and create systemic behavior change.

December 5-9th, we’ll be presenting our innovative methodology and out-of-the-box solutions at the Social and Behavior Change Communications (SBCC) Summit in Marrakech, Morocco. Note: If you will not be attending the conference and would like more information on these projects or presentation decks, please contact us at

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Our presentations at SBCC Summit include: 

> Salon de partage des activites CSC pour la PF des pays francophones de la part de Breakthrough ACTION

Summary: (French language session) We, alongside Breakthrough ACTION, will share innovations and best practices from West and Central Africa on various family planning and reproductive health SBC programs. Themes include gender mainstreaming, provider behavior change, community mobilization, and multi-media approaches to fostering enabling environments for youth access to contraception. Learn about our work increasing exclusive breastfeeding in the DRC.

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2022 1:00 pm-4:00 pm (Local Time)

Register: Salon de partage des activites CSC pour la PF des pays francophones de la part de Breakthrough ACTION

>  Leveraging co-design and diverse perspectives to create a scalable game that can boost couples’ communication in family planning

Summary: To increase men’s engagement in conversations about family planning and support for their partners’ choices to access reproductive health services, we used behavioral design to develop an interactive game that creates a safe space to explore weighty topics and decisions that may counter social norms in Uganda and South Sudan. These experiences underscored that games can promote comfort and familiarity with sensitive topics, open the door to difficult conversations, and act as crucial channels to empower men and women to jointly decide their families’ reproductive futures.

Date: Monday, December 5, 2022 3:15 pm-4:00 pm (Local Time)

Register: Poster Presentations – Getting It Right! Strategic Design, Formative Research & HCD

> Using SBC to Respond to Health Care Provider Priorities and Improve Provider Experience: Cross-Cutting Insights from Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zambia

Summary: Social and behavior change remains under-explored as an approach to improve providers’ experience in service delivery and respond to their priorities, which can have direct and indirect effects on quality of care. We have applied the behavioral design approach to health provider behavior across a variety of contexts, developing tailored solutions through collaborative and iterative design and testing processes with providers and other stakeholders. This presentation will include examples related to malaria diagnosis and treatment, prevention and management of postpartum hemorrhage, provision of respectful maternity care, and care for childhood illnesses.

Date: Monday, December 5, 2022 4:00 pm-5:15 pm (Local Time)

Register: Transforming Provider Behavior

> The power of norms to drive vaccination in contexts of high misinformation and distrust of public actors

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 10:30 am-11:15 am (Local Time)

Register: Poster Presentations- Living in a Digital World: Innovation, Connectivity & Dysfunction

> Behaviorally informed solutions to overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and facilitate uptake across contexts

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 3:30 pm-4:15 pm (Local Time)

Register: Poster Presentations – Overcoming Barriers to Change: Stigma, Hesitancy, Misconceptions & Norms

> Programmatic Opportunities and Limitations of Big Data and Digital Feedback: Insights from Evaluating a Large-Scale Multimedia Smoking Intervention Among Adolescent Girls in Ghana

Summary: As external evaluators of a multimedia social marketing program in Ghana focused on adolescent smoking we aim to provide programmatic and behavioral insights in addition to estimates of impact on key outcomes. We will share three examples of new opportunities for data science applications and digital feedback mechanisms we explored as means to generate such programmatic insights. Read more on our blog.

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 4:45 pm-6:15 pm (Local Time)

Register: Meeting Youth Where They Are: Digital Strategies that Motivate

> Promoting Respectful Maternity Care During Labor and Delivery in Zambia and Liberia

Summary: Mistreatment during labor and delivery is a well-established global problem, yet research on effective interventions to change provider behavior is still quite limited. This presentation will highlight solutions for provider behavior change – part of the During Stage of the Circle of Care. A four-prong set of solutions was tested in Zambia and adapted and piloted in Liberia. The solutions were feasible to implement in both locations and well received by health workers, thus suggesting its promise for scale.

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 4:45 pm-6:15 pm (Local Time)

Register: Better Cross-Sectoral Collaboration, Better Health Outcomes: Applications of the Circle of Care Model

> What Did We Learn About Motivating Vaccine Uptake?: Tools & Lessons Learned from COVID-19

Summary: A sneak peek of soon-to-be-published tools developed under Breakthrough ACTION’s vaccine work in 20+ countries, including lessons learned from motivating provider uptake.

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 6:30 pm-8:30 pm (Local Time)

Register: What Did We Learn About Motivating Vaccine Uptake?: Tools & Lessons Learned from COVID-19

> Reimagining Contraceptive Services for Adolescents: Evaluation of a School-Based Intervention Designed to Increase Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health Attitudes and Intentions in Burkin Faso

Summary: The (re)solve project in Burkina Faso used behavioral science and engaged girls to design and test scalable solutions for schoolgirls in grades 9 and 10, with the objective of improving their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intention and attitudes. The objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the (re)solve intervention in Burkina Faso.The intervention had a positive effect on girls’ intention to use contraception, though this did not reach statistical significance. There was a significant increase in the percentage of intervention-school girls reporting they went to a health facility for SRH information or services. Qualitative findings demonstrate that the intervention was well received and that misconceptions related to contraceptive use persisted in this mostly young, sexually naïve population.

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022 9:15 am 10:30 am (Local Time)

Register: Helping Youth Navigate their SRH Needs

> Adolescent Girls as Agents of Change

Summary: With MSI Reproductive Choices and Mare Stopes Uganda, we designed a “Refer a Friend” (RAF) program where girls who use contraceptives or have received FP counseling use small, colorful cards to engage in conversations with friends and encourage them to visit health facilities for FP counseling and friendship wristbands. Clinic materials reinforce a welcoming environment for girls, and providers from a subset of clinics received a training on youth-friendly service provision. We conducted a randomized controlled field trial and found that the program significantly increased adolescent FP uptake by 45%, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022 10:30 am 11:15 am (Local Time)

Register: Poster Presentations – Helping the Most Vulnerable: Humanitarian Response, Marginalized Populations & Children

> Addressing Barriers to Facility-Based Delivery in Liberia: A Behavioral Design Approach to FBD

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2022 10:30 am 11:15 am (Local Time)

Register: Poster Presentations – Collaboration, Integration & Partnership to Create Sustainable Change

> Business as Usual or Business Unusual: Has SBC Methods Integration Led to Radical Insights, Ideas, and Innovations?

Summary: Has SBC Methods Integration Led to Radical Insights, Ideas, and Innovations? Join our Managing Director, Emily Zimmerman, as she discusses this alongside a panel of experts.

Date: Friday, December 8, 2022 9:15 am 10:30 am (Local Time)

Register: Business as Usual or Business Unusual

Thank you to our partners and the community members that have made this work possible. We’re excited to share this work with you all and look forward to continuing to learn alongside you as we embark on new ways that behavioral science can advance global health outcomes.

For more information on our global health work, please visit or contact