Social and Behaviour Change Programme
The Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) programme seeks to promote the well-being and protect the rights of children, their families and their communities by engaging them to adopt healthy and protective behaviours
Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) is one of the key UNICEF strategies that aims at promoting healthy and protective behaviours by 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: Social and Behaviour Change is defined as a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategic process to promote positive and measurable individual behaviour and social change, as an integral part of development programmes, policy advocacy, and humanitarian work. Social and Behaviour Change 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. Social and Behaviour Change is different from but complementary to external and corporate communications.
The continuing compound crisis in Lebanon is having a devastating impact on Lebanon’s children, affecting just about every aspect of their lives. Their health and nutrition status is deteriorating, their education is at risk, and they are increasingly exposed to the risk of violence, child labour and child marriage. The crisis is also taking a heavy toll on children’s mental health, is affecting their hopes and aspirations.
Within Lebanon, UNICEF’s Social and Behaviour Change Programme is working to address and eliminate programme bottlenecks under the demand and enabling environment pillars and to promote 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 occur 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 exists a leadership vacuum regarding social and behavioural change, mainly because it is a challenge that requires multi-ministry coordination.
Social and behavior change approaches such as community engagement and community-led initiatives can play an important role in addressing the multiple challenges facing children, their families and communities.
SBC seeks to accelerate achievement of key results in Lebanon through a variety of initiatives:
- Participation and Advocacy:
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.
- Increased and quality demand for Service Delivery:
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:
Through SBC capacity development of Government counterparts, service providers, and CSOs at national and sub-national levels to plan, coordinate, and monitor SBC interventions.
- Participation of sub-national and local stakeholders:
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:
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 in programming and strategies:
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:
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:
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.
Our key achievements
UNICEF promotes the adoption of healthy and protective behaviours through community engagement and social mobilization.
We achieve this by:
- Identifying social and cultural barriers and opportunities to inform the response at the community level to end harmful behaviours (e.g. Qudwa SBC initiative to prevent child marriage, child labour, violence against women in children);
- Lead the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) task force to respond to COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies, leading on key innovations such early childhood development (ECD);
- Implementation of Most Significant Change tool to monitor the changes in attitude of caregivers and community members on inclusion
- Development of tools and training manuals (SBC, edutainment for inclusion, Community Engagement)
- Capacity building and equipping frontline workers with knowledge and skills to respond to emergency situations (COVID-19, Cholera, Hepatitis A, measles...) and to implement SBC strategies for programs’ priorities.