Incorporating Behavior Change Communication (BCC) into Nutrition Programs

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If you are reading this blog then, in one way or another, you are interested in changing people’s behavior for better health outcomes. The Sight and Life Inaugural Webinar Series on behavior change communication (BCC) might be just the informative source you are looking for to expand your knowledge. 

What is BCC? 

BCC is a communication approach, one of many communication approaches available to nutrition professionals. It is distinct from other approaches, such as nutrition education or health promotion, for the following reasons:

– It is an emergent process that culminates with the implementation of a BCC strategy 
– The process draws heavily on research and evidence
– The BCC strategy is focused on what the audience needs to do (versus what the audience must know)
– The BCC strategy is integrated with programs and services.

Interested in learning further? Join our first webinar in the series “People eat food not nutrition: Integrating BCC into your nutrition program” to understand more about these principles underlying BCC.  

It’s a Process

For a program manager, BCC might seem like a complicated undertaking, and for many of you, it is about managing others to do this work. BCC is complicated but it can be mastered if you have a systematic approach. Throughout this webinar series we follow an 8-step process cycle for BCC and share tips, checklists, tools, and resources to help you succeed in managing BCC. Completing the webinar series will not make you a BCC expert, however, it will make you BCC literate.

Behavior change communications, BCC, SBCC, process cycle, nutrition

The first webinar introduces step one of the BCC process, setting your BCC goals and behavior objectives. Straightforward, right? An important learning, from our experience, is to separate your program goal from your BCC goal, as they are not necessarily the same. Your BCC goals will focus on practices or behaviors while program goals might focus on a specific health outcome, such as anemia.

Another learning has been to distinguish between “practices” and “behaviors”; practices consist of multiple behaviors and actions. Once you have distinguished practices from behaviors, setting your BCC goal and behavior objectives is easy. We have developed a behavior chain tool to help you detect the multiple behaviors in a practice.

Behavior chain is a simple tool used to identify the factors or activities required to achieve a target behavior. 

For example a micronutrient powder (MNP) intervention, where the BCC goal might be appropriate use of MNP (a practice), the behavior chain tool would look like this:

[START] 1. Aware of MNP 2. value the MNP 3. get to distribution point 4. ask for MNP at distribution point 5. mix MNP with child meal (at the right consistency) (as per frequency indicated on package) [FINISH]. 

Asking for MNP at a point of distribution would be a behavior, as would mix with meals. Voila – two behavior objectives emerge. The objectives are not set in stone. You can modify them as you gather evidence and clues about your target audience in steps 2 and 3. Remember- only set a few objectives because less is more!

Next Steps 

So how do you feel about BCC after reading this blog – empowered to tackle BCC? Eager to learn more? Register for the Sight and Life Webinar Series on BCC below:

Webinar 1 | Tuesday April, 24 at 14:00 CET
People eat food not nutrition: Integrating BCC into nutrition programs

Some key learnings as we begin our first webinar in the series: 

– BCC is a communication approach with distinct underlying principles, which make it a valuable part of nutrition programming. 
– It is complicated but can be managed by taking a systematic approach. 
– This series provides a high-level analysis of BCC that enables you, the participant, to become BCC literate. 

Webinar 2 | Tuesday, May 15 at 14:00 CET
Assessing the situation: What you need to know

Webinar 3 | Tuesday, June 5 at 14:00 CET
BCC Strategy and Roll out: The devil’s in the detail 

Webinar 4 | Tuesday, June 26 at 14:00 CET
Monitoring the Process: Does it work?

****Note you need to sign-up for each individual webinar. Therefore, if you would like to attend each of the four webinars in the series you must register four times. ****