There is increasing appreciation among government and NGOs that SBCC strategies and related skills are equally important alongside technical knowledge. The health and ICDS functionaries – primarily the frontline workers and supervisors – are pivotal when it comes to communicating on health issues to the community. Linking the frontline workers with communication and building their capacities on effective communication is essential for quality service delivery. Recognising its importance, capacity development on social and behaviour change is one of the pillars of Communication for Development (C4D) programme of UNICEF.
In case of Routine Immunisation (RI), there is enough evidence to show that uptake of RI services also has a lot to do with the quality of interaction between health workers and caregivers to ensure completion of the immunisation schedule. High drop-out rates and the caregivers’ indifferent attitude towards immunisation services are often due to poor or inadequate information sharing by healthcare providers. The strategic framework for Intensification of Routine Immunisation (IRI) in India recognises the importance of strengthening communication and social mobilisation with IPC through frontline workers and supervisors (ASHA, AWW, ANM) as critical in bringing desired change in attitude and behaviour of families and community. It lays equal emphasis on institutional capacity building on technical and communication aspects.
In this context, UNICEF engaged New Concept to review and select SBCC training content from existing training modules, roll-out an SBCC training plan on routine immunisation across nine states for Training of Master Trainers (ToMTs) at national level and Training of Trainers (TOTs) at state level, and come up with a long term vision to establish a ‘social and behaviour change capacity development hub’ as a goal for New Concept with initial support from UNICEF.
Under the project New Concept reviewed the modules developed by UNICEF and other development partners and prepared a ready to roll-out SBCC training package for RI. This was done by a team of experts in communication and capacity building who have the experience of facilitating large-scale trainings at the national and state levels. The content and duration of each module was optimised considering the time the trainees – the Field Level Workers (FLW)/Supervisors, could spare in practical terms, while making sure that all important issues were adequately covered in the specified duration.
New Concept implemented SBCC trainings in nine states – Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh through a cascade model. The training teams were sourced through existing faculty in NIHFW, NHSRC, SIHFW and relevant ASHA training institutions and state resources. The trainings were managed, organised and financially supported by respective states, including the logistics, thus strengthening capacities at state level. 320 master trainers at state level and 1152 trainers at district level were trained across nine states in 2014-15.
Furthermore, an SBCC capacity building hub has been conceptualised and created, catering to nation-wide training needs – spanning thematic areas like health, nutrition, child protection, education, WASH, social welfare, Panchayati Raj, etc. The hub will be engaged in developing and creating a repository of training materials, and building capacity on SBCC for interested stakeholders pan India. The hub is an information and training platform that actively assists the users in accessing credible and/ or certified resources designed to help them build their capacity on SBCC. An E-Hub has also been envisaged which is an online component of the SBCC Hub and caters to different user groups including Government ministries and departments; Nongovernment organizations; Development agencies; Corporates (involved in CSR related activities); and Freelance trainers and capacity building consultants. New Concept along with UNICEF is designing an SBCC Hub E-Newsline.
Training material developed for the project:
For more information on the SBCC activities, materials and resources write to firstname.lastname@example.org.