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Creating a Space for Innovation and Collaboration Among French-Speaking Social and Behavior Change Professionals

Written by: Denise Adou Brou Epse ASSANVO, Senior Program Officer, Breakthrough ACTION, and Antonia Morzenti, Program Officer II, Breakthrough ACTION

Breakthrough ACTION amplified the voices of francophone social and behavior change (SBC) professionals by hosting a booth at the International Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) Summit 2022 held in Marrakesh, Morocco. The booth showcased successful activities and interventions developed by Breakthrough ACTION in francophone West Africa. During the Summit, nearly 1,800 SBC practitioners gathered to reflect on how to use SBC to tackle global challenges and, more specifically, on the ways in which the world communicates continues to evolve rapidly in our increasingly interconnected and mediated world. The Francophone SBCC Summit held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 inspired a series of activities for the 2022 International SBCC Summit, including this booth.

The marché des activités de SBC pour le planification familiale et santé reproductive (marketplace of SBC activities for family planning and reproductive health) booth acted as a multipurpose space for activities related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in francophone West Africa. It showcased resources, including the SBC and Gender Checklists, the Circle of Care Model™, and Ouagadougou Partnership Social Norms Taxonomy, along with a variety of campaigns. Summit participants interacted with the resources to increase their knowledge about implementing SBC interventions. Francophone SBC practitioners had an opportunity to share best practices among themselves and highlight existing and forthcoming SBC tools, approaches, and results in technical areas such as FP; SRH; youth and male engagement; integrated health; maternal, newborn, and child health; and other related areas. In addition to networking and discussing new collaborations, many Summit participants who came to the booth expressed their commitment to adapt and implement good SBC practices both at the sub-regional level and globally.

The Breakthrough ACTION Democratic Republic of the Congo team

Breakthrough ACTION, in accordance with its vision of continuous innovation, captured the attention of both francophone and anglophone International SBCC Summit participants. Augustin Ngandu, SBC Advisor for Breakthrough ACTION DRC explained that “the Francophone booth was an opportunity to discover other successful experiences of Francophone countries in the Breakthrough ACTION project.”

The way in which participants interacted modeled a true collaborative learning environment. The booth also allowed for real time and interactive dialogue between SBC practitioners from diverse backgrounds, including discussions about new ideas, approaches, and learnings from Breakthrough ACTION interventions in francophone West Africa.


West Africa Breakthrough ACTION (WABA)

As Deputy-Chief of Party for Breakthrough ACTION Sahel RISE II Nourou-Dhine Salouka said, “The Francophone booth was a great opportunity for us to showcase to all SBC practitioners the work we do on a daily basis to improve the health of our populations by introducing proven effective approaches and solutions. It was also an opportunity to learn from these same practitioners about new methods and ways to improve our work. The enthusiasm of the visitors and the relevance of their comments were very appreciable. We continue to exchange with those we connected with today, which is in my opinion, one of the most important accomplishments of the Francophone stand: to build relationships!”

We hope you will try out some of the most popular and accessible resources listed below in the table.

Cross Cutting Campaigns


Merci Mon Héros (Thank you, my heroes)

A multimedia campaign that aims to reduce the impact of social and gender norms that prevent youth from accessing family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) information and services by promoting intergenerational dialogue.

Parents Fiers (Proud Parents) Campaign

Communication campaigns targeting young couples for improved FP use, immunization, and nutrition.

(Health) Campaign

An umbrella campaign that provides a unified framework for the strategies, health messages, and activities being developed by partners and links their work to the local priorities of the Ministries of Health and Water and Sanitation.

Garkuwar Al’Umma (The Community’s Shield)

A campaign focused on promoting key health behaviors for similar target audiences that will facilitate synergies among SBC practitioners in Niger working in public health and amplify and strengthen messaging on common health themes.

Confiance Total (Total Confidence) Campaign

A campaign that aims to increase the demand for and use of quality FP services in francophone West Africa by promoting safe and effective FP in a supportive social context.

“Do-it-Yourself” Tools


Capacity Reinforcement e-Learning Courses

Three new online courses in French to strengthen the skills of SBC professionals worldwide.

The SBC Checklist to Develop and Assess CIPs for Demand Creation

A tool to help develop and evaluate a costed implementation plan (CIP) for FP/RH programs.

Regional FP/RH Chatbot

An interactive, digital regional FP information center (called the “DSSR-Bot”) for youth in francophone West Africa.

Gender Checklist/Self-Assessment

An assessment tool to evaluate gender integration in FP SBC programs.
Empathways A card activity designed to accompany youth and FP providers or community leaders through a dynamic and challenging experience of awareness, empathy, and action.
SBC Innovations and Experiences Description

Yassoma (Wonderful!)

A provider behavior change intervention that aims to improve the quality of FP counseling by improving health worker empathy and interpersonal communication.

Comparative Costs

A community activity that contextualizes the affordability of FP services and methods by comparing them to other daily expenses.

National Innovation Teams

Teams composed of Ministry of Health stakeholders and Food Security Development Activities partners that oversee and implement SBC programs at the regional level.

Behavioral Research Findings

A qualitative study exploring social norms for male engagement in FP/RH decision making.

Fête du couple (Couples’ Party)

A dialogue strategy for couples on health and development issues, including topics like intimacy.

Communication materials on display for summit participants