Glossary of Key Terms

Attitude: In SBCC programming, attitude generally refers to the way people think or feel about the behavior being addressed.

Audience: The population or group of people targeted by the intervention. Sometimes this is also referred to as the “intended audience.”

Audience Analysis: The process used to explore and identify the priority and influential audiences of an SBCC intervention.

Barriers: In SBCC, barriers are factors that stand in the way of adopting or sustaining a desired behavior. They can include social norms, cultural practices, societal structures and behaviors that hinder the ability of individuals to engage in the desired behaviors.

Communication Channel: The method or medium used to transmit a message to the intended audience.

Community Mobilization: See Social Mobilization.

Culture: The beliefs, customs, traditions and behaviors of a particular society or social group. Culture tends to be deeply entrenched and can therefore influence behaviors and the way particular messages and activities are received. In SBCC programming, being aware of culture and how it affects beliefs and behaviors is important for the development of effective interventions

Emergency: An acute event that characteristically takes a population by surprise and, most likely, spreads fear and anxiety.

Emergency Preparedness: A continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during a response.

Facilitators: In SBCC, facilitators are factors that support the audience to engage in the desired behaviors. Like barriers, these can include social norms, societal structures and dominant beliefs and practices.

Grey literature: Literature (e.g., reports, research and studies) produced by academic institutions, government, businesses, non-governmental organizations or other organizations that are not been controlled by commercial publishers.

Indicator: A variable used to measure the current situation and any change or progress towards the objectives as a result of the intervention.

Influential Audience: The influential or “secondary” audience refers to the population or populations who interact with and exert influence on the priority audience.

Inputs: This term relates to resources, contributions and investments that go into a program. Input indicators are a type of process indicator that provides information about the scope and quality of the activities being implemented.

Interpersonal Communication (IPC): IPC involves a personal interaction with the intended audience that can be one-to-one, in small groups, large groups or in a forum. Examples include counseling, peer-education, phone lines, parent-child, teacher-student, spousal communication and support groups.

Key Benefit: A key benefit expresses how the audience will benefit from engaging in the desired behavior. It should be a benefit that resonates with the audience and hooks the audience into taking action.

Lead Channel: This is the main communication channel used in an SBCC intervention. It is the one that is likely to have the greatest reach and through which most of the information and messages are disseminated.

Mass Media: A communication channel that can reach a wide audience at the same time. Examples include television, radio, newspapers, movies, magazines and the Internet.

Mid Media: Sometimes referred to as folk or traditional medial, mid media involves activities that gather large groups of people and that frequently have an entertainment component. Examples include participatory theater, sports or music events, public meetings or interactive storytelling.

Media Mix: The combination of channels used to maximize reach and effectiveness of an SBCC intervention.

Norms: These are informal guidelines about what is considered “normal” social behavior in a particular group or social unit. Norms form the basis of collective expectations that members of a community have of each other and they can play a key role in influencing behaviors by exerting pressure on individuals to conform, whether this is perceived or not.

Outcomes: The changes or results of the intervention experienced by the intended audiences. Outcome indicators are a type of performance indicator and they are used to measure progress towards results and evaluate the effects and impact of an intervention.

Outputs: The activities, services, events and products that reach the intended audiences. Output indicators are a type of process indicator that help determine the scope and quality of the activities being implemented.

Process Indicators: These are variables that provide information about the scope and quality of activities being implemented. They are used for monitoring and consist of inputs and outputs.

Priority Audience: Also known as the “primary” audience, this term refers to the population whose behavior the SBCC intervention aims to change. It is not always the most affected audience, but rather the audience whose behavior change is most likely to lead to the desired outcome.

Psychographics: These are the attributes that describe personality, attitudes, beliefs, values, emotions and opinions. Psychographic characteristics influence behaviors.

Qualitative Data: Descriptive data that tends to provide the reasons for quantitative findings. It helps explain an issue by emphasizing the what, why and how.

Quantitative Data: Data that provides numbers, such as information on how many, how often and what percentages. It is usually based on surveys with large, statistically representatives groups of people.

Risk Perception: This term refers to the level of threat than an individual feels of being affected by the negative consequences of a particular behavior.

Segmentation: In SBCC this term refers to dividing a large population into smaller subgroups of audiences in order to design more effective programs and messages.

Self-efficacy: This refers to the individual’s perceived ability to engage in the desired behavior.

Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC): SBCC is the strategic use of communication approaches to promote changes in knowledge, attitudes, norms, beliefs and behaviors. The terms BCC and SBCC are interchangeable, and they both refer to the coordination of messages and activities across a variety of channels to reach multiple levels of society, including the individual, the community, services and policy.

Social Mobilization: Sometimes referred to as community mobilization, this term is used to describe work with communities to achieve individual and/or collective change and the broad spectrum of activities undertaken to support communities in determining and improving their own health and wellbeing.

Social Norms: These are the rules and standards of behaviors shared by members of a social group.

Stakeholders: Those who are involved in or affected by the issue being addressed. These can include public, private and non-governmental organization sector agencies, relevant Government Ministries, service delivery organizations, audience members and beneficiaries, advertising agencies, media and technical experts.