Once the coordinating body has been established and stakeholders are on board, take the following steps to prepare your program for design and implementation.
Agree on the Project Scope
Sometimes the donor pre-determines the geographic scope of the project, or sets certain parameters that implementers must work within (e.g., mandates that the program work in regions with the highest rates of malnutrition, but does not stipulate how many regions or which sub-regional areas to work in). Most programs state their geographic scope in their funding proposal. Now that you have a deeper understanding of the landscape through the mapping exercise, have built consensus for the integrated program and have established a coordinating body, use your stakeholder analysis and work with your coordinating body to further refine the program’s geographic scope. Who will be responsible for what, where and when? How can you ensure the project operates at scale, maximizes everyone’s resources and is not stretched too thin?
Staff the Integrated SBCC Program
You likely proposed a particular staffing structure at the proposal stage. Given all that you now know from the stakeholder and environment analyses, is this structure still ideal for your integrated SBCC initiative? Consider designating staff members for each topical area (e.g., HIV, family planning and maternal and child health [MCH]), organizing it by skill area or function (e.g., media, community mobilization and training) or using a combination of those two approaches.
Below are further details as to what these structures might look like:
Structuring by Content Area: You may choose to designate a point person for each health or development topical area (e.g., HIV, family planning and MCH). If so, this person will be responsible for overseeing and championing all aspects of that intervention, including coordination and relationship management, strategy and messaging, media campaign development and implementation, community-level activities, budgeting and financial management, monitoring and evaluation and reporting. It will be this person’s responsibility to ensure technical accuracy in that particular topic, engage regularly with the relevant government, donor and partner counterparts, and update necessary parties on progress or challenges.
Structuring by Function: Alternatively, it may make more sense to organize your staff structure by skill area or function, such as media, community mobilization or training. If someone excels in a particular SBCC competency area, such as the development of participatory, interactive community outreach activities, that skill often translates across different topics. The media point person, for instance, would be responsible for overseeing the development of the media strategy, the production of radio and TV spots, media placement and media monitoring for all health or development topics of the program.
Combination Approach: A third possibility is to combine the two approaches, and have both health area and SBCC component leads. Carefully consider how these staff will interact and clearly define their roles to avoid duplication of effort.
How might you assemble a diverse mix of people to cross-pollinate ideas? You may be on the lookout for creative thinkers, “dot-connectors” who are able to see strategic linkages, health content experts, gender specialists, SBCC professionals, graphic artists, TV/radio production gurus, researchers or people with excellent relationships with a particular government ministry, who could forge and nurture relationships in that area.
If your project is decentralized, at what level(s) (e.g., zonal, regional, district or village level) will your field staff be placed? Which positions will be most critical for successful implementation? Does it make sense to co-locate offices or place staff with other partners or stakeholders?
Is it possible to create an integrated organogram that includes all organizations and stakeholders involved in the SBCC integration?