Bangladesh First-ever National Comprehensive SBCC Strategy for Health, Nutrition and Population Diss

Bangladesh’s first-ever National Comprehensive Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Strategy for Health, Nutrition and Population (HPN) sector officially disseminated on August 30, 2016 at CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka.

The program was organized with technical assistance from Bangladesh Knowledge Management Initiative (BKMI). Under USAID’s Global Health communication Capacity Collaborative Project, BKMI is jointly implemented by Johns Hopkins Center for communication Programs (CCP) and Bangladesh Center for Communication programs (BCCP).

In the presence of a large number of SBCC professionals and policy-makers representing different government, non-government, private and donor agencies, Director General of Family Planning Mohammad Wahid Hossain, accompanied by Additional Secretary (Public Health & World Health) Ms. Roxana Quader, Mr. Md Abdul Malek, Joint Secretary (Public Health-2), MoHFW; and Dr Faruk Ahmed Bhuiyan, Line Director, Non-Communicable Diseases, Director General of Health Services, unveiled the strategy among a huge round of applause.

As the Chair of the event, Mr Hossain appreciated the initiative taken by the MoHFW under Ms Roxana Quader. He thanked BKMI, CCP and BCCP for their continued support.

In her welcome address Guest of Honor Additional Secretary Ms Quader mentioned that based on the recommendation from the Mid-term Review of the HPN Sector Development Program 2011-16, this Comprehensive SBCC Strategy has been developed for the effective implementation of high-quality SBCC activities throughout Bangladesh. This strategy is a “pathway towards a theory-based, consistent, coordinated and audience-specific SBCC.” A highly participatory process has been followed in developing the SBCC Strategy, she added.

Ms Quader expressed her gratitude to USAID-funded BKMI for their critical role in conceptualizing the content of the strategy, and then from developing the initial draft to finalizing and printing it involving key stakeholders from different ministries and directorates, international and national NGOs, private and donor organizations. She thanked everyone for their time and contribution.

Joint Secretary Mr Malek said this SBCC Strategy is to ‘bring HPN SBCC in Bangladesh under one umbrella so that we can work more planned, coordinated and consistent way avoiding duplication.’  He urged all stakeholders to follow and use this strategy as it would guide the SBCC activities of the next sector program, and will align the SBCC efforts of government, non-government, development partner and other stakeholders. Although this has been prepared for HPN sector, other ministries and organizations conducting SBCC can also use it, he added.

Mr Faruk Ahmed said this strategy will guide different units and departments of MoHFW to design their respective next operation plans.

Ms Rebecca Arnold, Project Director, BKMI and and Ms Jakia Akter, Deputy Director, Information, Education and Motivation Unit (IEM) of DGFP jointly made  a power point presentation on ‘Overview of SBCC.’

Besides, Line Directors of Bureau of Health Education and Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN) of DGHS; and IEM Unit also spoke on the occasion.

During open discussion different stakeholders shared their feelings and comments that developing this strategy before finalizing next HPN sector development program is a timely initiative.  It would help harmonize SBCC activities and contribute towards improved SBCC for the wellbeing of the people of Bangladesh.

Technical Support of Nutrition to Additional Secretary (Ph & WH) Dr Nasreen Khan conducted the entire program.

BKMI provided technical assistance to develop Bangladesh’s first-ever Comprehensive National SBCC Strategy. BKMI facilitated the process of conceptualizing the content of the strategy, preparing an outline in consultation with other partners, and working closely with the concerned government units for undertaking a Health, Population and Nutrition (HPN) landscape analysis; coordinating among different committees and subgroups; facilitating rigorous stakeholder consultations; developing an Action Plan for implementing the strategy involving a wide range of stakeholders; preparing the final document and printing it; and finally organizing a dissemination ceremony to promote the use of the SBCC strategy.

Besides, Reporters from ATN NEWS, Bangladesh Betar, Bangla vision TV; Daily Sun; Prothom Alo; Bangladesh Television were   present to cover the event.

More than 100 senior level representatives from government, including Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Bureau of Health Education (BHE), Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN);  Non- Communicable Disease Control (NCDC), Community Based Health Care (CBCH) and Management Information System (MIS) of DGHS; and Information, Education and Motivation  Unit (IEM), Field Service Delivery (FSD), Maternal  and Child Health (MCH), Clinical Contraception and Planning & MIS Unit of DGFP; National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT); Urban Primary Health Care Services Delivery Project  (UPHCSDP); Local Government Division; Ministry of Social Welfare; Ministry of Information (MOI); Ministry of Food; UNICEF; WaterAid; BRAC; DNET, HKI, EngenderHealth; Alive & Thrive; Marie Stops Bangladesh; BBC Media Action; SPRING; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); IPAS Bangladesh; UNFPA; SMC; Save the Children International; and  Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) and Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP).