SBCC facilitates behavior change and supports broader social change to improve health outcomes. SBCC often applies a comprehensive socio-ecological lens that incorporates change at the individual, household, community and structural levels. SBCC looks at what may be preventing or facilitating a change of behaviors such as gender norms, attitudes and practices.
A strategic analysis and design process, such as the P-Process, should look at how gender influences decisions to make sure key barriers and facilitators are being addressed. The P-Process provides a systematic process to design, implement, monitor and evaluate behavior change programs. To integrate gender into strategy development it is necessary to apply a gender lens throughout the entire P-Process.
Three cross-cutting concepts guide the P-Process and are important to developing an effective SBCC program. These three cross-cutting concepts are SBCC theory, stakeholder participation and continuous capacity strengthening.
SBCC Theory Each theory is different and will work best when it explicitly hypothesizes what influences the behavior the program will promote. Gender theories and frameworks can be used in conjunction with behavior change theories.
Stakeholder Participation Everyone who has a stake in the program’s outcome should participate in the planning process and the implementation; this spreads project ownership and is the first step towards sustainability. Careful consideration should be given to the involvement of men and women, including finding ways to overcome gender-based challenges to participation, such as women’s ability to move around the community freely.
Capacity Strengthening Continuous skills building, such as on-the-job coaching, mentoring and training workshops, ensures program implementers get to practice what they learn and address problems as they come up. Gender training can be included in this capacity strengthening.
It is often assumed that SBCC programs on health topics such as family planning empower women, and therefore influence gender transformation, by modeling positive gender-related behaviors such as couple communication and joint-decision making. However, results from a recent analysis found that “family planning-focused interventions are not ‘naturally’ gender-transformative.” SBCC interventions therefore must explicitly focus on gender transformation in their strategic approach (HC3, 2015). This I-Kit provides step-by-step guidance to facilitate this integration of gender transformation into an existing SBCC strategy.