Sharpen Skills, Expand Knowledge, Drive Impact: SBC Learning Central is Empowering Global Changemakers

A group of four young people looking at the screen of a laptop.

The field of social and behavior change (SBC) is constantly evolving. New challenges emerge, communication landscapes shift, and effective strategies require ongoing adaptation. To help practitioners keep pace with these changes, Breakthrough ACTION launched SBC Learning Central in 2023.

A QR Code for an online learning platform.

QR code for SBC Learning Central.

With more than 40 online courses and seven toolkits, SBC Learning Central offers SBC practitioners opportunities to sharpen skills related to a broad range of SBC approaches applied to different challenges across health technical areas. What is special about the courses is they not only broaden learners’ knowledge base but also offer guidance on how to adapt featured evidence-based SBC solutions to one’s country context.

SBC practitioners are attracted to SBC Learning Central for a variety of reasons. To meet the demand for SBC learning opportunities and materials in French-speaking West and Central Africa, Breakthrough ACTION made half of its courses and toolkits available in French. This has been widely appealing, as 42% of registered users report being French speakers, and five of the top 10 countries from which registered users come are French-speaking, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal.

In addition, 96% of registered users who responded to a survey disseminated in February 2024 reported that the course topic was relevant to their work. Furthermore, 60% reported that the self-paced nature of the courses motivated them to enroll and complete the course(s).

To date, 4,860 certificates have been earned by nearly 4,500 registered users from 131 countries. Users reported improvements in knowledge and confidence in their ability to use the SBC approaches taught in the courses. With an impressive 85% of survey respondents reporting that they have applied the information and knowledge that they gained from the courses in their work, the platform demonstrates its efficacy as a transformative educational resource.

Yet, the true impact of SBC Learning Central transcends statistics. It is embodied in the stories of transformation and empowerment experienced by individuals working to effect change.

Graphic listing three ways how users of an online platform apply their social and behavior change knowledge gained.“The training courses are up-to-date and relevant, giving health professionals working in nongovernmental organizations an opportunity to strengthen their capacity. I’ve used the information and knowledge I’ve gained from the courses at the community level where social and behavioral change is most needed,” says Adamou Garba Abdoul Razak from Save The Children International Niger.

Another SBC Learning Central learner, Isatou Sarr from the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also attests to the learning platform’s value, saying, “[SBC Learning Central] is easy to access. The learning materials are interactive and the course content is always relevant. [The courses have] broadened my understanding of behavioral and social science, especially in relation to healthcare.

Razak’s and Sarr’s testimonials underscore the platform’s practicality and accessibility, illustrating how it enriches their professional capabilities and enhances their understanding of behavioral and social science applied to global health.

For others, SBC Learning Central is a valuable tool for expanding their horizons. “What I like most about [SBC Learning Central] is that I’m discovering that the SBC methodology can be perfectly adapted to a variety of health-related topics,” says Jules Daga, an SBC practitioner from Benin.

By applying the knowledge and skills gained from SBC Learning Central, users are poised to improve program effectiveness, leading to measurable positive social and behavioral change.

Written by: Lisa Mwaikambo, Knowledge Management Technical Lead, Breakthrough ACTION