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Health Communication and Behavior Change


URC uses health communication and behavior change strategies to enable individuals, families, communities and societies to increase control over and improve their health. The objective of these strategies is to stimulate and sustain individual and social changes and contribute to better health outcomes.

URC-CHS’s Communications Interventions Cycle

URC-CHS's Communications Interventions Cycle

Our approach (see figure) recognizes that human behavior is complex and results from a combination of context-specific influences, including environmental factors, social norms, health policies, the quality of health services and individual knowledge. Consequently, we apply a systematic, continuous process shaped by evidence and feedback to develop and monitor the multi-level, multimedia health communication and behavior change interventions that are part of our projects in over 45 countries.

What's in a name?

IEC. BCC. SBCC. These acronyms refer to a substantial set of cross-cutting health and behavior change communication (BCC) strategies whose emphasis, regardless of name, is on improving health and social outcomes through positive influence. Social and behavior change communication (SBCC) reflects a strategic shift from providing information, education and communication (IEC) in order to influence individual behaviors toward a multifaceted process that addresses the broader social systems and environments that influence behavior.

Strategies

URC's projects use these SBCC strategies to foster better health outcomes:

  • Advocacy aims to secure leaders' commitment to policies and programs that support health and promote changes in social conditions that contribute to disease and vulnerability.
  • Edu-entertainment, based on tradition and popular culture and specific to the geographic context, entertains and engages while it transmits important messages and encourages dialogue and interaction. Edu-entertainment includes popular theater, puppetry, music, dance, pageants, festivals and more.
  • Information communication technologies (ICTs) and eHealth strategies range from health data collection and storage to information-based and interactive web and mobile applications for health. These strategies leverage the increasing access to ICTs to improve decision-making and performance by providers and clients and facilitate communication in remote areas where infrastructure is less developed.
  • Information, education and communication strategies rely on job aids, interpersonal communication and other methods to improve health workers' performance, remind caregivers to perform frequently omitted tasks, encourage individuals to make positive changes in health care seeking and behaviors, and create demand for health services.
  • Mass media, such as radio, TV, billboards and newspapers, complement other media to raise awareness and increase knowledge of health concerns, stimulate audiences to seek services and promote social norms that favor healthy practices.
  • Social and community mobilization engages civil society and community organizations to promote social norms that support collective health objectives and challenge harmful practices.

Current Projects

Building Human Resource Capacity to Support Prevention, Care, and Treatment: Strategic Information and Other HIV/AIDS Programs
Funded By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project Duration: 2008 to present

Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care (EONC) Networks Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2009 to present

TB Program South Africa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2009 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Guatemala
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Global
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007 to present

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Nicaragua
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007 to present

Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives (UADPEI)
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Project Duration: 2009 to present

PrevenSIDA
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2010-present

TB CARE II
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2010 to present

USAID Primary Health Care Project in Iraq (PHCPI)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Partnership for the Community Management of Child Health (Partenariat pour la Prise en Charge Communautaire de la Santé Infantile – Prise-C)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2010 to present

Diagnosis and Management of Severe Febrile Illness: Tibu Homa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Control and Prevention of Malaria (CAP-Malaria) Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID RDMA)
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Georgia Tuberculosis Prevention Project (TPP)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2011 to present

Nutri-Salud: Community Nutrition and Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2012 to present

Benin Muskoka
Funded By: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Project Duration: 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Global
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Systems
Project Duration: 2012 to present

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Ukraine
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Mawa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Project Duration: 2012 to present

Resilience and Economic Growth in Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2013 to present

Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3)
Funded By: Johns Hopkins University
Project Duration: 2014 to present

TASC 4 ICT
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

Advancing Newborn, Child and Reproductive Health (ANCRE) Program
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2014 to present

Past Projects

HIV and AIDS Comprehensive Care Initiative (HACCI)
Funded By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Project Duration: 2008-2013

Malaria Control in Cambodia (MCC) Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2011

USAID's Health Promotion and Communication Project (HealthPRO)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2007–2012

Increasing Access to HIV Testing and Counseling
Funded By: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project Duration: 2006-2012

Benin Integrated Family Health Project (Projet Intégré de Santé Familiale, PISAF)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development and the President’s Malaria Initiative through USAID for malaria activities
Project Duration: 2006–2012

Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP)
Funded By: Subaward from Emory University with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Project Duration: 2009-2013

Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through the President’s Malaria Initiative
Project Duration: 2009-2013

Technical Assistance and Support Contract 3: Global Health (TASC3 Global Health)
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Afghanistan
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Ethiopia
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007–2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Mali
Funded By: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2009-2013

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Namibia
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2008-2011

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Tanzania
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2012

USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) | Uganda
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2007-2012

Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2006-2011

Integrated Infectious Disease Capacity Building Evaluation (IDCAP)
Funded By: Accordia Global Health Foundation
Project Duration: 2008-2012

Food and Nutrition Interventions (NuLife)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Project Duration: 2008-2011

Multi-Sector Alliance Program (Alianzas II)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development through RTI International
Project Duration: 2010 to 2012

Nongovernmental Organization Service Delivery Program in Bangladesh
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Bangladesh
Project Duration: 2002-2006

Benin Integrated Family Health Project (PROSAF)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Benin
Project Duration: 1999-2006

El Salvador Strengthening Health Project Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2006–2009

Eritrea Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Eritrea
Project Duration: 2003–2006

Partnerships for Health Reform Project and Partners for Health Reformplus
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1995–2005

Primary Health Care Operations Research Project (PRICOR) I and II
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1981–1991

Technical Information on Population for the Private Sector
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1985-1990

Water and Sanitation for Health
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1988–1994

Quality in Health (Calidad en Salud)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1999-2009

Haiti Voluntary Agencies for Child Survival Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1989-1995

Jamaica Adolescent Healthy Lifestyles (JA-STYLE)
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Jamaica
Project Duration: 2005-2008

Malawi Support to AIDS and Family Health Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1994-1998

Mozambique Primary Health Care Support Project
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1994-1999

Rapid Expansion of Nutritional Recuperation Services for Malnourished Children in Nigerien Facilities
Funded By: American Jewish World Services, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and UNICEF
Project Duration: 2005-2007

Peru Strengthening Health Institutions Project, MaxSalud Component
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/Peru
Project Duration: 1994-1999

Quality Assurance Project (QAP) I, II, and III
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 1990-2008

Romania Health Care Reform Program
Funded By: US Agency for International Development /Romania
Project Duration: 2005-2008

PreventAIDS
Funded By: US Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2005-2008

TASC II Tuberculosis/South Africa
Funded By: US Agency for International Development/South Africa
Project Duration: 2004-2009

Development of a Population and Family Health Improvement Project in the Solomon Islands
Funded By: Asian Development Bank
Project Duration: 1994-1995

Campaign for Our Children Media Initiative
Funded By: Maryland Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy
Project Duration: 1997

Communications Training and Capacity Building
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Substance Abuse Prevention
Project Duration: 1989-1992

Career Development Center for Drug Abuse Administration
Funded By: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project Duration: 1975–1980

CSAP Communications Team (CCT)
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
Project Duration: 1992-2002

Department of the Navy: Drug Demand Reduction Program
Funded By: Tennessee Valley Authority
Project Duration: 1993-1995

Education Programs of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Campaign
Funded By: US National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Project Duration: 1987–1993 and 1997–2002

Health Communications Initiative for the Prevention of Underage Alcohol Use
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Project Duration: 2004-2009

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Hispanic/Latino Initiative
Funded By: US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
Project Duration: 1999-2005

National Center for Alcohol Education State Trainer Development Workshops
Funded By: US National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Project Duration: 1973–1981

National Drug Abuse Center for Training and Resource Development
Funded By: US National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Project Duration: 1979-1982

Technical Assistance for the National School Resource Network
Funded By: US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Project Duration: 1979-1982

Naval Alcohol Rehabilitation Center Project
Funded By: US Department of the Navy
Project Duration: 1983-1986

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Project Duration: 1987-2007

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol Information
Funded By: US National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Project Duration: 1984-1987

New and Emerging Issues Project
Funded By: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Project Duration: 1992-1998

UNICEF Malawi and New York
Funded By: UNICEF
Project Duration: 2008-2010

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Conference Exhibit Program
Funded By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Project Duration: 2003-2006

Too Smart To Start
Funded By: US Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
Project Duration: 2001-2004

Weight Control Information Network
Funded By: US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Project Duration: 1994-2005

Technical Assistance and Support Contract 2 (TASC2): Global Health
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development
Project Duration: 2004–2009

Technical Assistance and Support Contract (TASC2) Tuberculosis
Funded By: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project Duration: 2004–2009



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