The United Nations says it will integrate Behavior Change Communications into development agenda and practice in order to fully deliver in the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed made this known in Bali, Indonesia at the opening plenary of the 2nd International Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Summit on Monday.
The Summit with the theme; ‘Shifting Norms, Changing Behaviour, Amplifying Voice, What works,’ also featured Entertainment Education as one of the tools for behaviour change communication and holds from April 15-20, 2018.
Mohammed who addressed the gathering of more than 1,200 researchers, academics and policymakers in a televised message said SBCC is playing important role in engaging young people, empowering victims and shifting attitudes.
“Social behaviour change is critical to addressing gender inequality. The media, entertainment, education and technology sector play important role in helping us mobilize in these constituencies, engage young people, empower victims and shift attitudes.
“The social behaviour change community is well placed to contribute and add meaning. You have the proven ability to harness the power of communication. You are a vibrant community shown by the presence of over 1200 practitioners, researchers, academics and policymakers.
“The United Nations looks forward to working with you and other stakeholders to fully integrate social behaviour communication strategy into development agenda and practice. Together, we can transform societies and our future and uphold our promise to leave no one behind,” Mohammed said.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Program (CCP) Susan Krenn said the presence of so many professionals at the conference will deliver insights that would serve the community of communicators for many years to come.
The Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia, Dr Nila Moeloek who delivered a keynote address said SBCC has the power to change norms and attitudes adding that SBCC is important because it has the power to change people’s lives.
“I am fully aware of the importance of SBCC in improving people’s lives. Indonesia has put this to use in reducing open-air defecation and the use of Sulphur in washing hands. SBCC was key in the fight against Ebola outbreak in Africa and when we had the bird flu (H5N1) strain, communication strategies helped us to overcome this and we were able to change the attitude of both buyers and sellers,” she noted.
The Minister who was represented by the Health Economics Advisor, Dr Mohammad Subur also noted that the social media will be a critical tool in SBCC communication.
The conference has participants from at least 93 countries, with 1,300 abstracts submitted and 429 organisations represented.