The organizers of the 2018 International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit, held two months ago in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, today shared the declaration that came out of the five-day event.
Led by the Summit Secretariat and written with input from many of the 1,200 SBCC practitioners and enthusiasts who attended the gathering in April, the declaration is meant to encapsulate key takeaways from the Summit – and to offer a roadmap for the future.
“Our message to decision- and change-makers everywhere is simple: Together, we can unleash the transformational power of Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) to address the challenges facing the global community today,” the declaration begins.
The 2018 Summit was hosted by a consortium of international and local partners including the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, The Communication Initiative, Soul City Institute, UNICEF and BBC Media Action. Attendees came from more than 400 organizations from 93 countries who attended more than 200 sessions.
The declaration highlights two major opportunities facing the SBCC community and the work it does, says Susan Krenn, CCP’s executive director, who led the Summit Secretariat.
First, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which she says can only be achieved with informed and engaged communities empowered to demand and participate in change and in improving their own lives. “This is the heart of SBCC,” the declaration states.
Second, Krenn says, this is a “critical time in the evolution of the digital space – for better or for worse.” Better, she says, because digital tools accelerate participation and amplify the voices of many different actors. “It has never been as easy as it is now” to use digital tools to reach people with timely, accurate information, she says.
Worse, in that it is much easier for communication to be used to spread misinformation that can be dangerous or even deadly.
“This Summit has confirmed the vitality, dynamism, evolution and maturity of our field of practice,” the declaration states. “We return home more united and more committed to people-centered development than ever.”
The Nusa Dua Summit was the second of its kind, coming two years after the first Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Organizers expect the next SBCC Summit to convene in 2020.
A copy of the declaration can be viewed on the Summit website.