To gain an in-depth understanding of the landscape, start with stakeholder and environmental analyses. This section provides guidelines for conducting those analyses. The Mapping the Landscape for SBCC Integration Analysis Toolkit also provides a series of analysis templates to assist in this process.
Integrated programs are likely to involve a significant number of stakeholders from a wide variety of sectors. Such sectors may include health, education, agriculture, technology, communication or others. Start by identifying all stakeholders, and then spend time exploring each of them to gain a deeper understanding of their mission, approaches and needs.
Keep in mind that the complexity of the landscape for an integrated SBCC program increases with the number of topics and/or behaviors that are included, the number of sectors involved (e.g., health, agriculture and education) and the extent of decentralization in those sectors (e.g., operating at national, regional, district and/or village levels).
Your first task is to identify the stakeholders for each health topic and behavior. Cast the net widely to be sure you capture all of the current and potential players in the field, both big and small. These may include government Ministries (e.g., the MOH and the Ministry of Education), different divisions within a given Ministry (e.g., the Reproductive and Child Health Section, the National AIDS Control Program or the Health Promotion Unit within the MOH), donors, multi-sectoral bodies, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, NGOs, service delivery partners, SBCC partners, social marketing organizations, systems strengthening partners, universities or media organizations. Program beneficiaries are also key stakeholders.
Worksheet 1: Stakeholder Identification for Integrated SBCC Programs provides a template to guide your stakeholder identification process.
Once you have identified your stakeholders, learn about the goals and objectives of each potential stakeholder, how each stakeholder might benefit from integrated SBCC and what each stakeholder can bring to the SBCC integration effort. Be sure to understand any concerns, competing demands or agendas. Investigate what each stakeholder understands about the integration. Some may think integration means concurrent programs under one funding mechanism, rather than cohesive and logically packaged interventions that unite divergent health areas.
Collect the following information on the donors, local government and partners to help you identify gaps, challenges and opportunities for effective and efficient SBCC integration.
The extent to which the government and donors understand integrated rather than concurrent programming . It may be helpful to investigate any previous experience with integrated programs.
The extent to which various divisions of the donor or departments within the host country ministry (MOH or other) support an integrated SBCC approach. Even though a donor may have issued an award for implementation of an integrated program, the individuals in that agency responsible for the various health or development topics may not be equally invested in the integration. Similarly, an integrated project may have high-level governmental approval that allowed it to be awarded, but lack buy-in from the individual programs implicated in the project. Integration comes with some loss of control over the outcomes for each topic and this may be uncomfortable for those responsible for those areas.
The potential to align reporting structures. Governments and donors often have well-established programmatic and financial reporting structures that may be less flexible or amenable to an integrated program. Get a good understanding of what indicators are reported for each health topic, and how. Are there similarities and differences? What is the timeframe for reporting? Are fiscal years aligned? How amenable are these programmatic and financial reporting systems to change?
In the case of multiple donors, the degree of alignment among the donors on the need for SBCC integration and on the priority topics to integrate. It is also helpful to understand the process by which the various funders expect the integration to take place.
The quality of the working relationship between the donor and government. Effective coordination in an integrated program is key to its success. The project will likely invest significant time in ensuring and strengthening coordination. Be sure to have a clear understanding of relationships among divisions within the donor and government ministry/ministries, but also between the donor and government.
The potential for prioritizing topics in a way the donors and ministries can accept and support. Given that funding for each topic may not be equivalent, it is critical that, as the implementer, you have flexibility in the design of the program to prioritize topics in a way that benefits the overall integration, rather than only benefitting each topic separately. For example, in an integrated maternal, child health and malaria project, it may make sense chronologically to begin with messaging on early ANC attendance, even if the malaria funding accounts for a larger percent of the project. Ensure that those responsible for malaria in the donor/government agencies understand the rationale for that prioritization and agree with the decision.
The extent to which partners understand complete integration. It may be helpful to investigate any previous experience with integrated programs and ensure integration is not confused with concurrent programming.
Partners’ understanding and perception of SBCC and approaches toward communication for change. Are partners already familiar with SBCC, or is it a fairly new concept? Are they proponents of communication, or is advocacy needed? How advanced are the partners in their SBCC thinking, strategies and approaches? What degree of SBCC capacity building might be needed? If they are already implementing SBCC programs, what channels and intervention types are being used? What is the relationship between their messages? How consistent are the messages?
Partners’ level of expertise in SBCC and the health areas of interest. What are their strengths and gaps as related to SBCC and the topics/behaviors at hand? Do they have technical experts in content areas, such as HIV, family planning and malaria? What is their level of expertise in skill areas such as community engagement, training, media buying and radio production? What types of capacity strengthening might be needed?
The audiences reached by each partner. Where is there audience overlap among partners? Are important audiences not being reached by existing partners?
Geographic areas of operation. Are any partners working in the same states, regions, districts or villages? In the same health facilities? Do any partners have zonal, regional or other sub-national offices in similar locations? Are there opportunities for co-location?
Local partners. Are national-level stakeholders working with local NGOs or Civil Society Organizations on the ground? If so, which ones? Are any partners working with the same local organizations, service providers or community health workers? What are the opportunities for synergy? How might these interactions be streamlined?
Availability and flexibility of resources. What are the funding levels available for the integrated SBCC activity? What are the sources of funding, and what are the requirements and expectations of the donor for its use? What non-financial resources can partners contribute? Are existing financial tracking systems able to handle integration?
Project timelines. How do stakeholders’ project timelines align? How do the timelines of other projects align with the integrated initiative? What opportunities and challenges might varying timelines present?
Data collection and use. What monitoring and evaluation systems are already in place? What type of data is being collected on each health or development area, at what frequency and through what structures? Is data collected using paper-based or electronic systems?
Identify areas of overlap, potential synergies and any gaps unaccounted for by any stakeholder. Are any of the audiences, messages or interventions known to significantly contribute to behavior change in the desired areas that are not currently addressed? Take this information into account when planning and implementing activities.
See Worksheet 2: Integrated SBCC Program Stakeholder Interview Guide for a sample stakeholder interview guide for integrated SBCC programs.
Once you have collected all of this information, organize stakeholder information into matrices as shown in the examples found in Worksheets 3A: Stakeholder Capacity Matrix and 3B: Implementing Stakeholder Matrix. Compile your findings into a consolidated format (see example in Worksheet 3C) for easy reference.