Designing a Social and Behavior Change Communication Strategy

Step 6: Implementation Plan

The implementation plan details the who, what, when and how much of your communication strategy. The plan covers partner roles and responsibilities, activities, timeline, budget and management considerations.

This step includes five tasks which illustrate how to develop an Implementation Plan.


If you are developing your communication strategy in a workshop setting and time permits, you may want to divide participants into working groups and task each group with one of the tasks outlined below. The tasks may also need to be completed or finalized after the workshop has completed. For example, you may not be able to complete the budget until later. You will most likely need to finalize the implementation plan after the workshop since much of the work will require additional information and does not need to be completed in plenary.

If you have developed your communication strategy in a small group, you may want to consult with potential partners along the way. Refer back to your SWOT analysis to see which partners might contribute needed resources (time, expertise, funds) to the project and be sure to bring them on board early enough so they feel ownership of and dedication to the project.

Process: Facilitated discussion or small group work

Output: Proposed program partners and outline of roles and responsibilities

This is the who task where you determine the roles and responsibilities of potential partners. The success of your communication efforts relies on the combined expertise of participating partners. Effective SBCC programs come from strong teams, and strong teams, in turn, contribute to a sense of shared ownership.

  1. What competencies do you need to implement the communication strategy?
    • Creative design of concepts and materials
    • Media placement
    • Community mobilization
    • Training
    • Advocacy
    • Service delivery
    • Monitoring and evaluation
  2. What potential partners have these necessary competencies? Who can provide expertise for these areas?
  3. Once potential partners have been identified, outline how the implementation will be coordinated amongst the various partners.
    • Who will serve as the coordinating body for your program? Should a committee be set up to monitor progress, share information, and address challenges? Or is there an already established entity that can perform this function?
      • Establish sub-committees to oversee specific components of your strategy, i.e. communication, advocacy, service delivery, and monitoring and evaluation committees. Determine who will lead these sub-committees.
    • Who will serve as the lead implementer of the communication strategy?
    • Who will provide technical assistance to the lead implementer and partners?
  4. Participation and capacity building are crucial to the success of your SBCC efforts. Consider how best to involve your audience as well as strengthen capacity of participating partners.
    • How will audience members be involved in the design and implementation of the program?
    • How can capacity of partners be strengthened to implement and manage future SBCC programs?

Process: Facilitated discussion or small group work

Output: Draft work plan

This is the what task where plans for implementing your strategy and achieving your communication objectives are outlined.

  1. For this task, focus on major milestone activities.
    • What are the activities that need to be implemented?
    • What are the intermediate steps necessary for each activity?
    • What is the necessary sequence of activities?
  2. Using the potential partners identified in Task 1, assign responsibility for each activity.
    • Who will be responsible for the implementation of each activity?

Process: Facilitated discussion or small group work

Output: Draft timeline

This is the when task where the time schedule for the development, implementation, and evaluation of your activities is determined. The timeline is a flexible tool that will need periodic reviews and updates as changes occur. It can be used as a monitoring tool to ensure the implementation of activities stays on schedule.

  1. When will each activity be implemented?
  2. What is the sequence of activities? How are they linked?
    • If your efforts are tied to service delivery or training, be sure to consider this in your timeline. For example, demand creation activities for family planning should wait until the capacity of service providers to provide quality counseling services is strengthened.

Process: Facilitated discussion or small group work

Output: Draft budget outline

This task determines the how much of your implementation planhow much funding will be needed to implement your communication strategy? The budgeting tool below  provides possible costs for each type of activity and can help you plan a preliminary budget.

Budgeting Tool

Activities Possible Costs
Communication research and planning
  • Personnel salaries and benefits; consultant fees
  • Training for data collection
  • Travel allowances for field work
  • Supplies
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Report writing
  • Meetings for planning
Monitoring and evaluation
  • Development, distribution, and collection of monitoring and evaluation questionnaires
  • Orientation of trainers and training of field workers
  • Travel allowance for supervision and/or quality assurance of data collection
  • Compilation and analysis of data
  • Organization of feedback session(s)
  • Fees/salaries for evaluators
  • As a general rule, at least 10% of your program should be allocated to monitoring and evaluation.
Training and capacity development (through the SBCC program process)
  • Curriculum development
  • Distance learning
  • Consultants’ and trainers’ fees
  • Per diem and accommodation for participants
  • Training materials
  • Equipment purchase or rental
  • Hiring of training site
Mobilization and outreach activities
  • Identification and hiring of CBOs/NGOs
  • Supervision and monitoring of CBOs/NGOs implementing mobilization and outreach activities
Production of print materials
  • Fees/salaries for writers, artists, and graphic designers
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Typesetting
  • Pretesting of all print materials, including posters, brochures, and training curricula
  • Printing and distribution
Production of broadcast materials
  • Fees/salaries of artists, scriptwriters, producers, videographers, and technicians
  • Copywriting
  • Studio and equipment rental
  • Technical content reviewers
  • Pretesting of broadcast materials
  • Airtime
  • Distribution
Special events
  • Give-aways – such as stickers, T-shirts
  • Press conferences and kick-off events
  • Honoraria for dignitaries, celebrities
  • Hiring of sites, public address system, other equipment
  • Communication – telephone, Internet access, fax, postage
  • Administrative and overhead costs
  • Other transportation
  • Estimate the amount of funding needed for each main activity to give an idea of what funding resources will be needed.
  • Finalize the budget once your work plan is complete.

 Download the budgeting tool as a Word document.

Process: Facilitated discussion

Output: Draft implementation plan

  • Complete the implementation plan below with your answers to who, what, when and how much.

Implementation Plan

Coordinating Body:
Lead Implementer:
Implementing Partners Expertise
Activity 1:
Intermediate Steps Implementing Partners Timeline Budget
Activity 2:
Intermediate Steps Implementing Partners Timeline Budget
Activity 3:
Intermediate Steps Implementing Partners Timeline Budget
Activity 4:
Intermediate Steps Implementing Partners Timeline Budget

 Download the implementation plan as a Word document.

Final Outputs

  • Completed Implementation Plan

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Step 5: Positioning and Strategy Outline (Prev Step)
(Next Step) Step 7: Monitoring and Evaluation
Back to Designing a Social and Behavior Change Communication Strategy

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