SBCC and Provider Behavior Change

38551-1SBCC is the use of communication to change behaviors. SBCC coordinates messaging across a variety of communication channels to reach multiple levels of society. While SBCC has been widely used to change behaviors among populations at risk for various health challenges (women of reproductive age, adolescents, male household heads), SBCC can also be successfully used to influence the behavior of other audiences, including facility-based providers and community health workers.

At its core, SBCC is audience centered as opposed to program centered. Effective SBCC relies on gaining an intimate understanding of the audience’s key drivers, beliefs and values before developing an intervention and ensuring the resulting intervention marries those needs with the program goals. 

SBCC works to change provider behavior by either engaging providers as the primary audience to influence their knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, beliefs and values or by identifying other influencing audiences (community leaders, religious leaders, government officials) to change prevailing community and social norms that impact providers’ work.

While SBCC cannot address all of the challenges that providers face, it can play a role in addressing many barriers linked to provider motivation and performance. Specifically, SBCC can:

  • Encourage providers to challenge negative attitudes and beliefs they may hold towards certain stigmatized populations and/or services that prevent their adherence to key service delivery policies and guidelines (i.e. long acting contraceptive methods for adolescents, condoms for men who have sex with men)
  • Facilitate social and normative changes that impact how providers work and the kinds of attitudes and values they possess
  • Influence decision-makers, family and peer networks to recognize provider contributions and ensure better resources are made available
  • Influence policymakers to ensure supportive national policies and availability of commodities
  • Mobilize communities, peers and management to recognize providers’ efforts and contributions
  • Engage both clients and providers to improve provider-client interactions
  • Motivate providers to better adhere to national service delivery policies and guidelines
  • Encourage peer, management and social support

Recognizing that SBCC cannot respond to all provider barriers, the I-kit assumes that users will use these guidelines, approaches and resources to complement efforts to address other identified key barriers and demotivators to provider performance, namely those caused by inequities in capacity, supportive policies, health systems and/or available resources that may require interventions other than SBCC.