Over the past year, we have done plenty of learning and thinking about what social behaviour change means for Sightsavers.
Social behaviour change (SBC) is about understanding and influencing healthy and inclusive behaviours, and providing a supportive social environment in which these behaviours can flourish. If we can encourage people to change their everyday behaviours, then we might get some way towards having healthier and more inclusive societies.
We’ve also thought about how to improve the clarity and guidance on SBC for our staff and partners. Take a look below to see what we’ve been working on.
Sightsavers recently held a learning exchange with ActionAid to share how both organisations have used the behaviour change wheel. This is what we call a comprehensive ‘SBC framework’; in other words, a set of steps that enables us to identify the exact behaviours that need to change, and how to influence them.
The behaviour change wheel can help us to understand and influence complex topics such as gender-based violence and disability stigma and discrimination.
ActionAid shared how it has applied behavioural science to reduce gender-based violence as part of its work in Kenya, Nepal and Ethiopia. The organisation has also developed a field guide for their staff and the wider sector. This can help practitioners to design interventions that better understand and influence the priority behaviours in order to create change.
Sightsavers shared experience on Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (the Ghana Participation Programme), a four-year disability programme in Ghana with a specific focus on mental health.
As part of the consortium led by Options, Sightsavers has also been using the behaviour change wheel to design and develop targeted interventions in Ghana. These interventions aim to reduce negative and discriminatory attitudes, behaviours and norms faced by people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions.
Overall, this was a valuable sharing and learning session. We were given an insight into how the behaviour change wheel is being used by our partners in other settings, which has helped us to think through other ways that we could use this tool in future.
Cathy Stephen is Sightsavers’ global technical lead for behaviour change communication.