Communication for Development (C4D)

C4D approaches

© UNICEF/Pakistan/Noorani
PAKISTAN: A volunteer health worker helps an adolescent girl.

UNICEF has a strong track record of amplifying the voices of children and communities by harnessing the power of communication to promote child survival, development, protection and participation. Working in partnership with national governments, civil society organizations and development agencies, UNICEF C4D employs a mix of social mobilization, advocacy and behaviour and social change strategies on issues ranging from polio immunization to birth registration, from salt iodization to girls' education, from exclusive breastfeeding to prevention of HIV and AIDS.

C4D practitioners believe that sustainable and long–term behavioural and social change is the result of a participatory, human rights-based process of social transformation. This process helps shift political, social and support systems by giving voice to members of all communities and providing them with the skills they need to advocate effectively for long-lasting changes. C4D ensures that children with disabilities, as well as indigenous children and minority children are included in all processes.

C4D employs these common principles across all approaches:

Evidence-based - UNICEF uses social and behavioural data and evidence to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate communication initiatives that help increase knowledge, understand and shift attitudes, and facilitate positive behaviour and social change around issues that affect children’s and women’s overall well-being. C4D draws upon the key human-rights principles of participation, equality, non-discrimination, indivisibility and interdependence.

Participatory - The participation of all stakeholders throughout the C4D strategic process allows for local and cultural specificities and perspectives to be included in the design, testing and implementation of communication strategies. Among the many strategic planning models used for behaviour and social change, UNICEF has adopted an approach that integrates the best elements from several models, while also ensuring that key principles of human rights, gender equality and results-based management standards are addressed.

Rights-based - Create awareness of people’s own rights by empowering participation on social and political issues and rights, so that they can successfully advocate for changes and policies that would improve their well-being and living conditions.

Example from the feild

UNICEF correspondent Christal Thompson reports on a social mobilization campaigns that work to convince families in Madagascar to have their children vaccinated.  [Article and Video]



Lessons Learned


C4D Programme Results

India country Office

C4D in the UN

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