The Decision to Integrate

SBCC integration is a decision. Sometimes the funding agency may require integration in its Request for Applications/Request for Proposals. Other times the implementing partners may drive the decision during the proposal or project design phase. At the very least, implementing partners should understand to what extent the project they have accepted is amenable to integration.

Integration advances the concept of holistic and client-centered care, and has the potential to significantly improve health and development outcomes. It can also potentially lower costs by reducing the redundancy inherent in implementing several vertical SBCC programs (see Making the Case for SBCC to learn more about the evidence for integration).

However, the decision to integrate SBCC should not be automatic. Programs should consider the environment for SBCC integration, the pros and cons of integration in their particular context and, most importantly, if and how integration will benefit the target audience, then decide whether it is both feasible and worth the effort.