Using social and behavior change communication to improve health in Bangladesh

The USAID-funded Ujjiban project is a five-year integrated effort in Bangladesh designed to improve the health of Bangladeshis and their communities by increasing knowledge and generating awareness of positive health behaviors related to maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health, family planning, nutrition and tuberculosis.

Ujjiban employs three main approaches: capacity strengthening, community mobilization, and transmedia to reach our priority audiences at the national level and in the regions of Sylhet and Chattogram. These approaches are integrated in Ujjiban’s interventions across all domains — individual, community, services, and systems. Informed by formative research, Ujjiban focuses on the most critical informational and motivational gaps between knowledge and behaviors while working to eliminate cross-cutting barriers, such as inequitable gender and social norms.

Ujjiban works closely with the Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to strengthen their ability to plan, develop, implement and evaluate social and behavior change programs at the central and regional levels. Ujjiban provides central and regional level staff with training, job aids, and transmedia products, that help them plan SBCC campaigns, lead community activities, and offer high-quality interpersonal communication and counseling as part of their everyday work life. Ujjiban works to integrate and ensure sustainability of digital tools such as the e-Toolkit and the supportive supervision app within the government systems.

In Sylhet and Chattogram divisions, Ujjiban activates existing partners, networks, and infrastructure for the implementation of courtyard sessions with different priority audiences, adolescent clubs, screenings of transmedia products, and other activities. By engaging both governmental and non-governmental agencies in the work, Ujjiban has achieved far greater reach across a wide range of health topics than through direct implementation alone.

Ujjiban’s transmedia approach reaches millions of people in urban and rural Bangladesh through television, radio, digital, print, and social media activities that promote social and behavior change in key health areas. These products are disseminated nationally and also support Ujjiban’s work in capacity strengthening, community mobilization, improving service quality and increasing uptake.

Ujjiban’s key interventions include:

  • Enhance access to information: Raise awareness and ensure access to information on health and social issues.
  • Prevent child marriage: Disseminate information through media and community engagement activities, while mobilizing communities to combat and protest against child marriage.
  • Develop capacity at national and local levels: Train and mentor ministry staff and relevant non-government organizations and institutions at the national and local levels, enabling them to provide quality health care services and counseling to clients.
  • Advocacy: Work with national and local governmental and non-governmental institutions to be more accountable, transparent and participatory in program implementation.



Bangladesh, with a special focus on two divisions: Chittagong and Sylhet



Implementing Partners

Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs; Save the Children


Kazi Faisal Mahmud and Sanjanthi Velu

Applied Research, Bangladesh, Capacity Strengthening, Community Mobilization, Digital, Entertainment Education, Family Planning, Knowledge Management, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition, Past, Social and Behavior Change, Tuberculosis, Water and Hygiene