Communication for Development (C4D)
Communication for Development (C4D) also referred to as Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) aims to engage children, families and communities to exercise their rights and unlock solutions that will create changes for a social cause.
Communication for Development (C4D) is one of the UNICEF strategies aimed at leveraging the power of community dialogue and participation, the reach and power of mass media and digital platforms, the intimate value of interpersonal communication and the critical influence of social networks and movements.
Definition: C4D is defined as a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategic process to promote positive and measurable individual behaviour and social change that is an integral part of development programmes, policy advocacy, and humanitarian work. C4D uses dialogue and consultation with, and participation of children, their families, and communities. It privileges local contexts and relies on a mix of communication tools, channels, and approaches. C4D is different from public relations or corporate communications.
Within Lebanon, UNICEF’s C4D Programme is working to eliminate programme bottlenecks under the demand pillar which are individual or social and prevent long term sustainable change. These are addressed across three levels:
- A lack of trust in public services provided by the government exists within communities, and limits the demand in, and use of, these valuable services.
- Outreach and referral within these programmes occurs in a vertical/sectoral manner creating community fatigue and limited openness to change.
- Many communities have negative social norms – these include views on child marriage and violence against children and women hence limiting the ability to thrive.
- The inability of the communities, community leaders, and duty bearers to acknowledge social and behavioural issues as a significant weakness which must be addressed to strengthen resilience and development.
- a significant capacity gap is present in the areas of planning, budgeting, supervision, monitoring evidence, and knowledge generation for social and behaviour change at national and sub-national levels.
- there exists limited capacity to prioritise interventions for children and women on social and behavioural change, as well as for the creation of the demand and utilisation of services; a lack of strategic allies, partnerships with the private sector, community structures for promotion of child rights, participation and engagement.
- the government’s sub-national systems require strengthening to support cross-sectoral social and behavioural change both for development and emergency response.
- Similar to the challenges at the governorate level, Lebanon's national level stakeholders have limited capacity and funding to generate behavioural evidence to inform, plan and budget for the demand and utilisation of services, social and behavioural change plans and policies for children and women.
- likewise, capacity building remains below-par, even though the program continues to build capacities on social and behavioural change at the national level.
- there exist a leadership vacuum regarding social and behavioural change, mainly because it is a challenge that requires multi-ministry coordination.
C4D seeks to accelerate achievement of key results in Lebanon through a variety of initiatives:
- Participation and Advocacy:
How? By increasing child rights awareness on Child Rights and advocating for duty bearers to be accountable to the community by facilitating the raising of children and community voices through national and subnational platforms.
- Service Delivery:
How? By supporting the improvement of the InterPersonal Communication (IPC) and counselling skills of service providers; by placing additional focus on the inclusion of marginalized groups and emphasis on inclusion for children with disabilities.
- Capacity Development:
How? Through C4D capacity development of government counterparts, service providers, and CSOs at national and sub-national levels to plan, coordinate, and monitor C4D interventions.
- Participation of sub-national and local stakeholders:
How? Through the closer coordination of the municipality and community service entry points, the community will begin participating in planning, implementation, and monitoring; and through engagement with religious leaders.
- Outreach, Community Engagement, Identification, and Referral
How? Through integrated outreach and community engagement aimed at promoting dialogue at the community for social and behavior change. The child with multiple deprivations are identified and referred to relevant services.
- Social and Behaviour Change
How? In close collaboration with the programmes, provide technical guidance to develop strategies, tools that promote change in individual behaviour and social norms; by empowering communities to be the main drivers of change through the use of community engagement, dialogues and other community strategies as deemed appropriate.
- Accountability to Communities including children
How? Through a variety of approaches at the different program planning cycle ensure affected families, children and adolescents participate in the decisions that affect their lives, receive the information they need, and have access to safe and responsive mechanisms to handle feedback and complaints.
- Monitoring and Evaluation
How? Through the use of alternate approaches like Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), polls, the Healthy Camp monitoring tool, and the Most Significant Change tool for tracking short-term change and Knowledge, Attitude, Practice (KAP) for the impact evaluation over a long term period for behaviour and social change interventions.