Communication for development

All development goals and government priorities require behavioural and social change, especially around promoting the adoption of positive behaviours, practices and establishing new norms including changing negative gender norms.

Villagers take a pledge to keep themselves and their village healthy by adopting a more hygienic lifestyle so they could all benefit from a happy community.
UNICEF/UN0267937/Latif

All development goals and government priorities require behavioural and social change, especially around promoting the adoption of positive behaviours, practices and establishing new norms including changing negative gender norms.

This in turn requires an enabling environment of institutions that understand, support and implement evidence-based, gender-responsive social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) and programmes.

In recognition of the current global, as well as regional and national commitments to development programming, the role of C4D in India has been recognized as centric to achieving “programming excellence at scale and is a cross-sectoral strategy of UNICEF.

In UNICEF India’s Country Program Action Plan for 2018-2022, the specific goal and contribution of C4D to children and family well-being in India is to increase demand for and utilization of essential services and promote caregiving and well-being practices.

C4D also aims at influencing abandonment of harmful social norms, adoption of positive norms and facilitate diverse forms of engagement at scale in both development and disaster/civil strife contexts. This overall target is to empower communities and adolescents and especially girls and women for sustainable change.

C4D’s programme design is based on Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) - Gender framework of UNICEF India. The framework enlists six strategies—system strengthening, capacity development, building social capital, platforms and mega-partnerships for at- scale and convergent SBCC programming, targeted SBCC campaigns, evidence generation and knowledge management.

C4D in India focusses on strengthening the systems, capacities and approaches of government, civil society, informal community-based structures and networks, academic and professional organizations, and media organizations, and their respective human resources, from national to block level.               

Key focus areas for C4D in India

a) Increase demand for and utilization of essential services, especially for vulnerable children, including girls, and communities;
b) Promote optimal and equitable caregiving and well-being practices;
c) Influence reduction of harmful social norms, including harmful gender norms and adoption of positive social norms;
d) Facilitate diverse forms of engagement to empower girls and boys, especially adolescents, and their communities for sustained change

The solution

Long-term mega-partnerships: C4D in India actively works with faith-based organizations, tribal groups, artist federations, women’s rights groups and platforms, including self-help groups, farmer cooperatives, youth networks) to create new social narratives for dialogue amongst families and communities, especially around positive gender norms and practices.

C4D also engages with trans-media platforms (TV, video, digital media, community radio and folk media/participatory theatre) to create social narratives.

Targeted SBCC and campaigns: To reach the last-mile, underserved and marginalized families and Communities in India, C4D works with Government of India for promotion of national flagship programmes like Poshan Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Shiksha Abhiyan campaigns, Health and Nutrition Days, adolescent and youth aimed programmes and campaigns.

Building social capital of communities, adolescents and youth: C4D in India mobilises local leaders, volunteer groups and networks and create spaces and mechanisms to foster trust within communities (including solidarity building among women and girls) so that there is unity, cooperation and social equity across gender, tribes, caste and religion. This includes community engagement in monitoring and feedback regarding quality of and access to services.

This component reinforces UNICEF’s broader work on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by leveraging SBCC platforms, tools and partnerships to strengthen community resilience and systems for managing risk and building girls’, boys’ and families’ capacity to prepare for and cope with disasters.

Sandhya Sahu, interacts with children staying inside slums of Shivaji Nagar in Mumbai, India.
UNICEF/UN0210187/Singh
Sandhya Sahu, interacts with children staying inside slums of Shivaji Nagar in Mumbai, India.

Institutionalization of SBCC capacity development: C4D strengthens institutional and individual capacities and competencies on gender responsive SBCC of national, state level training institutes and universities.

C4D works with Government aims at improving the SBCC capacity for planning, implementation, budgeting, interpersonal counselling and facilitation skills of service providers and frontline workers and their supervisors.  This enables strong, equitable demand for and utilization  of services (especially for disadvantaged girls and women) and adoption of recommended practices

System strengthening for SBCC governance and accountability: C4D provides technical support, guidelines, quality standards and tools (including on gender responsive programming) to national, state and district programme managers to improve the planning, implementation mechanisms, budgeting, coordination, convergence, and monitoring of SBCC activities.

SBCC evidence generation and knowledge exchange: C4D builds reliable evidence by integrating SBCC quality monitoring indicators within administrative reporting systems, including gender related behavioural indicators within government population level data systems.  

It also convenes and leads partnerships and alliances with research institutions and academia to generate evidence on social norms, especially gender norms, to inform SBCC interventions.