Whether it be through the health education or health promotion units of Ministries of Health, the public sector has the reach, scale, authority, and mandate to coordinate social and behavior change (SBC) activities. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen the capacity of the public sector to utilize SBC approaches.

Breakthrough ACTION reviewed the experiences of various USAID-funded SBC projects to identify eight principles that could guide activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of the public sector to use SBC approaches:

  1. Nurture relationships with key stakeholders in the public sector
  2. Align capacity-strengthening efforts with public sector goals, structures, and processes
  3. Maximize the unique strengths and comparative advantage of the public sector processes
  4. Elevate the status of public sector SBC specialists
  5. Focus public sector capacity-strengthening effort son management, coordination, and collaboration
  6. Support technical and organizational capacity simultaneously
  7. Strengthen and support SBC systems in which the public sector plays a role
  8. Build-in sustainability structures

This technical brief explores the eight principles and highlights relevant strategies, considerations, and operational research questions.