In response to the tremendous success of the 2018 International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, two regional and language-specific events have been organized to put takeaways into an African context.
“2019 clearly will be a year to highlight social and behavior change across Africa,” says Susan Krenn, CCP’s executive director. “These two meetings will provide an opportunity for social and behavior change practitioners there to come together to share their expertise and to learn from one another in order to ensure the success of programs across the continent.”
From February 25 to 27, CCP will host the Sommet Francophone pour le Changement Social et de Comportement in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The Summit will be entirely in French and will address priority issues specific to French-speaking African nations, including high maternal mortality rates, modern family planning method use and improving nutrition outcomes.
Because social and behavior change is an essential tool for achieving the ambitious goals set for many francophone countries through initiatives such as the Ouagadougou Partnership, FP2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals, the francophone Summit will provide an invaluable chance for practitioners to gather and identify actionable strategies. The Summit will be organized around similar themes as the 2018 International SBCC Summit, including a focus on what works, a review of the current state of social and behavior change (SBC) and an exploration of how to advocate for SBC to priority stakeholders.
From February 19 to 21, the Africa Social and Behaviour Change Conference organized by Population Services Kenya, a PSI Network member, will take place in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference is themed “Disruptive SBC Strategies for the future of Africa” and seeks to create a platform that brings together practitioners and stakeholders in social and behavior change to exchange knowledge and expertise on theory, effective programs and adaptable approaches within the African context.
This three-day conference will provide a space to foster ownership of social and behavior change in Africa to “design and lead” using approaches that cut across multiple sectors in emerging areas such as youth, technology, health, education, agriculture and more. PS Kenya describes the conference as a must-attend forum for social and behavior change practitioners, experts, researchers, policy makers, academia, government and the private sector.
“One outcome of the ASBC conference will be to develop a road map of solutions and a shared value proposition to promote a thriving African society,” says Joyce Wanderi-Maina, the CEO of PS Kenya. “This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals which work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to assist people to make the right choices to improve life in a sustainable way in the decades ahead.”
One of the takeaways from the 2018 International Summit included an embrace of complexity and appreciation of the importance of geographical, cultural and social context as well as re-commitment to building local capacity, which makes the two gatherings particularly timely.