What is Behavior Change Communication?
Behavior Change Communication is a form of strategic communication used to change targeted behavior and morph to desired outcome. Usually, the goal is to promote positive health outcomes. Behavior Change Communication, or BCC, can be used to realize targeted outcomes in areas such as family planning, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, drug/substance abuse, and disease prevention and immunization.

Why is it important?
It is necessary for field practitioners to engage in behavioral theory in order to understand how behavioral change communication can best impact the community where change is desired and/or needed. Community Education is necessary to concentrate upon in order to best determine how behavior change communication should be implemented.

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What programs are out there?
a. Technology and Education
  • Educational Mobile Applications:
  • text2teach: Project in Phillipines provides a way for teachers to request educational videos via text message, with the videos delivered to a television at the school via satellite.
  • Encouraging parental buy-in for formal education through technology: A 2001 study was conducted within an environment that had much of the same characteristics as the developing population of sub-Saharan Africa: rural primary schools in Uttar Pradesh, India. The study, entitled Designing Educational Technology for Developing Regions: Some Preliminary Hypotheses, found that the introduction of technology in and of itself provided enough incentive for parents of school-age children to want to be involved. The study noted that teachers expressed frustration over lack of parental involvement in their child’s education. However, after a unit of technology was introduced (in this case, a classroom computer), “parents became more willing to allow their children to attend classes regularly because they understood the importance of ICT literacy”. It is with this same line of thought that the hope is the introduction of the integration of mobile technology into the classroom will increase parental involvement in the education process, thus further encouraging child attendance by planting the seed of incentive at home.

b. Family Planning

c. HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention/ Disease Prevention
  • AIDSMark: Changing Behavior, Improving Lives:
  • Tools for Malaria Prevention in Ethiopia: "The Malaria Prevention Campaign, launched in Oromia Region of Ethiopia by C-Change, recognizes communities for taking specific actions to combat malaria. The focus of the campaign is around small, doable actions that families carry out to protect themselves against malaria. The community volunteers under direction from the Community Mobilization Committee (CMC) energize and support their communities, families, and schools to take the actions necessary to prevent malaria. Materials and tools developed by C-Change for the campaign are available below."

d. Agricultural/Farming Techniques
  • Madagascar: "In Madagascar, unsustainable agricultural practices threaten destruction of both the rain forest and arable land. With a birth rate of 6.9 in sensitive areas or “hotspots,” the island’s population growth is outpacing conservation efforts, and slash-and-burn agriculture exacerbates the problem. Between 1990 and 2000, Madagascar lost 1.17 million hectares of forest. More than 80% of the forests are gone."

e. Teenage Pregnancy

How can Behavior Change Communication be applied to the Millennium Goals and the Millennium Villages Project?
  • Family Planning
  • HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention
  • Agricultural/Farming Techniques
  • Teenage Pregnancy

What would BCC in the Millennium Villages look like?
Behavior Change Communication isn't simply limited to technology; it is an incredibly effective tool due to the fact it can be so easily orally transmitted. Behavior Change Communication can exist in a variety of forms: from community radio and community theatre to messages delivered through community health workers. Cultural understanding and clear language communication are key in delivering effective behavior change communication to each Millennium Village.

Additional Reading:
John Hopkins Bloomberg School For Public Health Tools For Behavior Change Communication
Strategies for Behavior Change Communication
The Pathways to Change Tools:
Collection of eight workbooks from Family Change International for Behavior Change Communication:
AIDSMark: Changing Behavior, Improving Lives:
Behavior Change Communication in Small Doses

Behavior Change Comm. | Edutainment | E-governance | Health Info. Management | Mapping | Participatory Appraisal & Planning | Radio
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