Engaging and Preparing Providers

In an integrated SBCC program, service providers at the community and facility levels usually have a role to play in delivering and reinforcing key information. It is critical that they feel involved and capable of doing what is being asked of them. To ensure readiness and quality:

  • Assess the capacity of the providers you plan to work with, then strengthen capacity where necessary. What IPC skills and practices do they possess? What do they already know about the health topics? How able are they to make connections between health topics? Build on what providers know and be sure not to add tasks or information too quickly.
  • Build health worker capacity to communicate in interpersonal settings in a meaningful way. Ensure they are truly able to understand a client’s needs and challenges, tailor communication to their needs, facilitate meaningful and participatory dialogue, and employ approaches that facilitate community-driven ownership and action.

  • Determine the providers’ workload. Design strategies for helping providers effectively integrate topics and meet multiple needs at once. Train providers to probe and make connections to maximize client benefit. Help providers see the benefits of integrated programming – particularly how it can help them. Sometimes it may be beneficial to consider opportunities for task shifting, or sharing certain elements of the service delivery process with other providers, volunteers or health champions.

  • In collaboration with service delivery programs, help establish systems and structures for quality services. For example, how to provide referrals between and within the SBCC and service delivery programs; how to ensure effective coordination between community-level and facility-based providers; and policies or systems for enabling task shifting

Integration requires providers to change behavior and confront potentially negative attitudes about the new health topics they are required to cover. In addition to training, programs may find it useful to conduct provider behavior change communication campaigns or activities. Find more information about IPC interventions here.


For integrated programs, providers especially need to be able to quickly get the client talking about her/his needs, issues and status to be able to cover the critical topics well, given the time available. Ensuring providers practice effective IPC can be key to helping clients adopt and maintain desired behaviors.

Program Experience


(When you see a Program Experience, simply click on the photo to read insights from real integrated SBCC programs.)