After long delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, proposals and abstracts are now being accepted for the 2022 International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit, scheduled for December 5 to 9 in Marrakech, Morocco.
The event, which was postponed from March of 2020 when the pandemic began, is being organized by a Secretariat chaired by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. The summit will build on the success of the 2018 event held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, which drew 1,200 participants from 93 countries spanning a range of disciplines and representing a diversity of institutions.
Organizers look forward to receiving proposals and abstracts from people across a broad spectrum of countries, from low-income to high, and from people of all ages, with a special push to include the perspectives of those under 25. The Summit is expected to take place in person, but there will be some virtual opportunities in response to the continuing pandemic.
“We know that many have been waiting a long time to share their work on some of the most pressing concerns on the planet, from the climate crisis to gender inequity to COVID-19,” says CCP’s Jane Brown, who is co-chairing the Secretariat. “We are moving ahead with the hope that conditions will allow us to meet again in person, as we have done so successfully in the past. This call for proposals is the first step.”
Guidelines for proposal and abstract submission can be found here. The deadline is March 14. Registration will open in early 2022. While many borders are currently closed to international travel, organizers expect that conditions on the ground will change by the time of the Summit. Organizers note that this is a new call for abstracts and that abstracts accepted for the postponed 2020 Summit are no longer valid. Any abstracts to be considered for the 2022 event must be resubmitted with new information and re-evaluated.
The vision for the 2022 Summit is “Strength in Diversity.” Three main themes will be “Catalyzing Transformational Change on Agendas of Urgency,” which considers such topics as climate crisis, health access and equity and humanitarian efforts; “Future Forward,” a look at what we have learned from the past and what to take going forward; and “Connecting the Dots,” which explores ways to further increase collaboration, learning, skills sharing and capacity building, creative collective action and sharing within the field.
In recent months, the Summit has helped facilitate national and regional conversations about SBCC in a number of parts of the world to build momentum for the 2022 event.
Past attendees of SBCC Summits have had effusive praise for the events, with 94 percent of those surveyed in 2018 saying they saw innovative tools, insights or approaches presented in Indonesia and 93 percent reporting they found the experience at the Summit “inspiring.”
“It was a resounding success in every way,” said one 2018 participant.
Said another: “Hearty congratulations to the organizers. It was the best conference of that size that I’ve ever attended. And a luxury to spend a week with fellow SBC travelers.”
The Secretariat is made up of representatives from CCP, UNICEF, American University of Beirut, Puntos de Encuentro, Breakthrough, Priceless SA, IYAFP and Quilt AI.