Essential Reading on Behavior Change Communication (BCC)

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At Sight and Life, we are pleased to share knowledge and recommend resources that we find useful in our work. This is certainly the case with behavior change communication (BCC)! To continue learning about BCC while waiting for the upcoming webinar, we have collated an array of books, websites, and e-learning modules that are valuable resources. This is just our opinion but we hope theses recommendations can deepen your knowledge on BCC and provide though-provoking ideas and inspiration as it did for us. 

During the first webinar in the Sight and Life Webinar Series focusing on behavior change communication (BCC), we examine integrating BCC into nutrition programs. The key learnings are:

– 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.
– Consider the Sight and Life BBC process cycle as a tool to support planning your nutrition communication campaign.

Find the video and the complete slide deck here from the first Sight and Life webinar People eat food not nutrition: Integrating BCC into nutrition programs HERE.
Behavior change communications, BCC, SBCC 
On May 15th we will be hosting our second webinar Assessing the situation: What you need to know (please register HERE). In this webinar we will identify the typical knowledge needs for BCC intervention in nutrition. We will discuss how to get the most out of the knowledge sources, including written material (program reports, scientific papers), experienced program stakeholders, knowledgeable service providers, and of course, your target audience. Additionally, learn tips for tailoring formative research to generate insights on the factors driving eating behaviors.

Our Recommendations on BCC

E- learning:

1. This interactive course by Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally project (SPRING) will guide you through narrated slides, quizzes, exercises, handouts, videos, and links to helpful resources. This course will help you understand agriculture’s role in improving nutrition, learn how to use behavior change methods to prioritize and promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture practices, and develop a behavior change strategy for current and future agriculture projects. Find it HERE.

Reading

2. Read this work SPRING; Evidence of Effective Approaches to Social and Behavior Change for Preventing and Reducing Stunting and Anemia to learn the findings from a systematic literature review. 

Lamstein, S.,T. Stillman, P. Koniz-Booher, A.Aakesson, B. Collaiezzi,T.Williams, K. Beall, and M.Anson. 2014. Evidence of Effective Approaches to Social and Behavior Change Communication for Preventing and Reducing Stunting and Anemia: Report from a Systematic Literature Review. Arlington,VA: USAID/ Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project.

Toolkit

3. Behavior Change Toolkit  – for International Development Practitioners
This behavior change toolkit is a useful, well written and simple introduction to BCC. A great resource for those starting their learning journey on BCC. The toolkit can be downloaded HERE.

Books

4. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein.
A book from the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: it is a revelatory look at how we make decisions. The authors examine the process of how people think, and suggest that we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. Nudge is really about the small, subtle pushes that our modern-day world makes to sway one’s opinion or real-world choices.

Why it’s on our Kindle’s
To succeed in behavioral change we must be able to offer people better, more favorable and less costly choices to what they are currently doing. To reduce the consumption of junk food in teenagers for example, we must be able to design alternatives that are equally desirable. Therefore, we must build an architecture that will encourage people to change their habits and follow our behavioral goals. We loved reading the real life examples in this book and learning how simple, thoughtful ‘nudges’ can help people change a variety of behaviors. Find it HERE
 
5. The Power of HabitWhy We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. It uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. 

Why we think it’s an essential read for BCC
We recommend The Power of Habit as an easy and fun to read introduction into the science of habit formation and the art of attempting to change them. As nutrition program managers, most of the time, our challenges go beyond changing people’s behaviors. Changing what and how people eat requires us to understanding people’s daily habits and then help them to adopt new routines. This book an excellent foundation to understand the particulars of habits. Buy your copy HERE.  

6. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. The Tipping Point explains the phenomenon of why some products, businesses, authors, etc. become hugely successful (tip) while others never seem to break apart from the masses as anything special. Buy your copy HERE.

Why we think it’s relevant to BCC
We think The Tipping Point is a great read to understand how change happens and what makes a behavior tip. Successful interventions and campaigns aimed at changing people’s routines have certain critical characteristic in common: They manage to gain followers, naturally mobilize the audience, and make the behavior contagious instead of imposing it. These initiatives succeed in making the behavior desirable, the message exciting and memorable – like a jingle that naturally ‘sticks’ – and they understand that ‘little things’ in people’s lives matter.

Happy reading!

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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. ****

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Yana Manyuk

Social Marketing Specialist

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When I close my eyes and think about happy moments from my childhood in Russia, I can see my grandma stirring Russian Beetroot Soup in a big kettle and smell the freshly caught fish from dad’s fishing trip and recently picked mushrooms from the forest. When I was 9 years old my whole family moved to Germany. Amidst this incredibly challenging process of adaptation and slow transformation of my cultural identity – it was my grandma’s beetroot soup with sour cream that gave me comfort and a sense of home. That meal opened the door for my friends to discover my Russian culture through food, which told a story of heritage and provided a home of warmth.

I grew up in a family of artists and doctors – equally fascinated by the human sciences and the creativity of expression. At a very young age, I knew my dream job would be one where I could combine my love for science, humanities, food culture, and art. Behavioral change is as much a science as it is an art and I feel truly blessed that I live my professional dream. I often describe my role as a detective with a passion for innovative solutions. It takes patient research, sensitivity, empathy, and creativity to crack the case of how to change people’s behaviors.

“Out of a myriad of options to apply my set of knowledge and skills, I chose nutrition as it is the most interesting to me. Behavior change in this field has probably the most sophisticated goals; we not only aim to change multiple intricate behaviors but to gain a deep understanding of and influence people’s daily routines and change their habits. This is a difficult challenge.” – Yana Manyuk

I feel lucky to be working with a passionate and compassionate team comprised of different experiences, talents and expertise to solve some of the worlds most challenging issues with solutions drawn from innovation and characterized by their smart simplicity. It is an honor to be part of the Sight and Life family.

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