The capacity of program staff and project stakeholders to design integrated SBCC will influence the strategic design process and vice versa. Integrated SBCC requires the assimilation of not only new but also more varied information and potentially new ways of communicating for both program implementers and providers (e.g., information communication technology [ICT] or improved IPC).
Identify implementer capacity-strengthening needs through working group discussions, needs assessment surveys and during SBCC strategy development. In addition to information about the topics and behaviors to be addressed, implementers need to have a common understanding of SBCC, the project’s selected theory of change, data collection and use (including formative research), supportive supervision, advocacy and a range of other topics, depending on the program.
Because integrated SBCC typically requires health workers, community health agents and others to explain and answer questions about new and varied topics, capacity-strengthening needs might be amplified as compared to single-focus SBCC. When designing your program, plan for frequent supportive supervision that includes observation, customized on-the-job training and regular follow-up group training to strengthen generally weak areas. If agents use tablets or other digital technology to access relevant messages and information, training should include how to quickly find the needed information while remaining largely focused on the client, and supervision should verify agents’ ability to use the technology effectively. Supervision guidelines and tools (e.g., checklists) should reflect integration, such as looking at how effectively providers integrate new content into their interactions with clients. As with many SBCC interventions, including frontline workers in training will not only help prepare them to provide the needed services but also help gain their buy-in.
Both vertical and integrated projects often have a need for SBCC capacity strengthening. See the SBCC Capacity Ecosystem for more information on how to build capacity for SBCC programming.
Strengthening capacity for integrated SBCC may involve the following:
Extra time, repetition and support to effectively assimilate new information and practices
Phasing in new topics over time
Nonthreatening testing of providers to ensure correct knowledge
Structured observation of providers to ensure correct use of skills
Adaptation based on experience