My Favorite Resource! Personal Favorites of Staff and Partners

The Health COMpass team has asked our friends - who are all experts in health communication - to tell us about one of their favorite resources or tools for SBCC. Take a look...and then let us know about one of your favorite resources and why you love it!

Please send us YOUR favorite resource by emailing us at, or filling out this form.

Elizabeth Serlemitsos

Senior Program Officer,  Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country:Tanzania

Health Communication (1997)

by Lawrence Kincaid, Phyllis Piotrow, Jose Rimon and Ward Rinehart

How I use this:

I use this resource to prepare presentations in anticipation of a design workshop, to refresh people's memory on why and how we need to be strategic in designing and implementing health communication programs.

Why I love this:

This is an excellent resource that takes your though all the stages of designing and implementing a health communication program, with lots of tangible examples.




Ann Hendrix-Jenkins

Director, K4Health Project,: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: USA

Social and Behavior Change for Family Planning: A 2.5 Day "Off-the-Shelf" Training Course

How I Use This:

This freestanding guide helps build staff professional capacity to learn to use simple assessment tools to methodically design a social and behavior change intervention. This short 2.5 day course is based on excerpts from the full six-day Designing for Behavior Change Curriculm.

Why I love this:

No experience necessary is needed to use it - a group of staff can work through it to teach themselves and each other about social and behavior change. Created in response to a call for inexpensive opportunities to support more field-based staff development, this easy-to-use course has been successfully field tested. Comes with a sheet of frequently asked questions and even a fun scavenger hunt designed to familiarize users with the resources.



Beth Skorochod

Deputy Director, HIV and TB,  PSI   Country: USA

Innovation Games

by Luke Hohmann    


How I use this:

Taken from the commercial market and used for product development, I use this resource of how-tos for collaborative games to support strategic planning, improving relationships with target audiences, discovering new opportunities for communication and improving market effectiveness. The games are described in detail along with the ways they can be used and what they will help accomplish.

Why I love this:

These aren't your run-of-the-mill ice breakers and energizers. Rather, these ideas come from the commercial sector and have been used to help brainstorm and collaborate to solve Fortune 500 issues. They bring a different perspective to health-related SBCC and can be tweaked to apply to most any communication issue. While I typically hate this term, they do help programmers and implementers, 'think outside the box" by tackling issues from a new angle.


Jenn Weiss

Health Advisor, Concern Worldwide    Country: USA

A Practical Guide to Conducting a Barrier Analysis

How I use this:

Practical training guide on how to implement a Barrier Analysis survey and analyze and interpret the results to develop a behavior change strategy; it includes a series of lesson plans walking you through Barrier Analysis theory and practice.   

Why I love this:

This is a great, 'off-the-shelf' guide that can easily be used and adapted for field teams. It provides all of the tools and resources one would need to implement a Barrier Analysis survey.



Cheryl Lettenmaier

Regional Representative, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: Uganda

The Health Communication Partnership (HCP) Uganda eToolkit

How I use this:

To help me design communication strategy design workshop, training materials, and prepare presentations for use during workshops and design meetings. I have also shared the materials available through this eToolkit with SBCC practitioners and organizations in Uganda and other countries.                    

Why I love this:

There are sample materials for a variety of health issues, strategies and training materials. Very useful as examples.


Amelia Brandt

Associate Program Director, Medicines for Humanity Country: USA

Hesperian HealthWiki

How I use this:

I use this resource to find educational material for the projects I backstop. I speak with my partners in the field to identify needs and can always count on finding multiple resources on the HealthWiki.      

Why I love this:

The material on the HealthWiki is written to be appropriate for different reading levels and is infused with participatory activities to make sure that people are truly engaged. It is extremely easy to use and doesn't use a banking learning approach.


Karin Estrada

SBCC Advisor, University Research Corporation Country: Guatemala

C-Change – SBCC Online Course

How I use this:

I use it as a media and reference resource. I took this on-line course and it was just awesome!

Why I love this:

The whole course was just great in resources: teachers, content and great media access. Moreover, it provided excellent reading and updated materials and participants were from different countries, so you can learn not only from theory but from experiences around the globe. I highly recommend it.


Rupali Limaye

Director, HIV/AIDS Global Programs, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: USA

AVERT website  

How I use this:

I use this resource to find basic facts about HIV/AIDS indicators in various countries.            

Why I love this:

This is a great resource for all things HIV/AIDS-related. It provides resources along the HIV/AIDS continuum in an easy digestible format.


Haydée Lemus

Communication Specialist, PASMO Guatemala Country: Guatemala

K4Health Toolkits

How I use this:

K4Health website provides key and practical information collected by experts on different public health topics.

Why I love this:

It is a trusted source of evidence-based information that could be used as reference when designing SBCC strategies.


Jen Orkis 

Technical Advisor for SBCC,  Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: Tanzania

BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Model

Also, the Behavior Grid and Behavior Wizard

How I use this:

We are currently working to apply the Fogg Model to Phase II of the Wazazi Nipendeni (Love me, parents) safe motherhood campaign in Tanzania.

Why I love this:

The Fogg Behavior Grid takes into consideration three different durations of behaviors (doing something one time, for a duration of time, or from now on), and five different behavioral categories (a new/unfamiliar behavior, a familiar behavior, increasing a behavior, decreasing a behavior, or stopping a behavior completely), resulting in 15 different possible types of behavior change - all of which require different strategies and techniques to change.



Doug Storey

Director for Communication Science & Research,   Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: USA

Communication for Social Change Working Paper Series: No. 1

The Rockefeller Foundation and Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs          

The P-Process: Five Steps to Strategic Communication

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs

How I use these:

Communication for Social Change: Provides a fantastic historical perspective on the origins, evolution of and controversies surrounding social and behavior change communication, as well as a brilliant model of the process and compendium of indicators and tools to use for measuring it.

P Process: I have used this virtually every day on my job and as the main reference for my course “Health Communication Programs” at the Bloomberg School for 20 years. Students tell me—years after graduation—that they still use it themselves in their public health work.             

Why I love these:

They systematically guides decision-making across the stages of strategic communication planning, design, implementation and evaluation. There are many other models and approaches to communication planning, but the P Process is the first, the clearest and the best.



Jane Brown

Senior Program Officer,  Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Country: USA

African Transformation      

How I use this:

This interactive tool is used in community groups in various country contexts and settings to enable women and men to explore how gender norms, beliefs, roles etc. operate in their lives, determine if these positively or negatively impact their health and well-being and transform or develop new norms that are more gender equitable and lead to better health outcomes. CBOs and NGOs are trained to use the tool and implement them as part of their on-going community work.  I have used in many projects to address a variety of health related issues including HIV, Safe Motherhood, Malaria, GBV among others.            

Why I love this:

African Transformation (AT) has been successfully implemented in many settings and to address underlying gender norms related to a variety of health topics. Its flexibility and adaptability are among the key reasons I like this resource; another is its approach that enables community members to explore gender related issues and come up with their own solutions to address them. The use of real life stories of women, men and couples who have overcome gender related barriers to reach their goals that are central to the tool are truly inspiring – as evidenced by testimonies from AT participants who are then motivated to become role models in their families and communities.                                                                     

Khemraj Shrestha

BCC Advisor, Health for Life (H4L) Country: Nepal

A Field Guide to Designing a Health Communication Strategy

The mHealth Planning Guide: Key Considerations for Integrating Mobile Technology into Health Programs

How I use these:

A Field Guide to Designing a Health Communication Strategy: Health for Life (H4L) project along with District Public Health Office of 14 districts wanted to design effective BCC intervention to reach marginalized, disadvantaged and hard to reach population of those districts and encourage them for health service seeking behaviors. To move ahead in strategic ways we wanted some guide and tools. H4L team visited Health COMpass web site and downloaded the above guide book. We in coordination with Govt. district health staff, followed the Field Guide (chapter 1 to 4) and adapted tools/templates on (i) Identifying Key Health Issues, Gaps, Barriers and Prioritization, (ii) Audience Analysis, Identification of target audience and (iii) identification of potential Health communication channels in the district and used them during consultative meetings with local stakeholders. The information gathered were compiled, analyzed and developed into District Health Communication Strategy.

The mHealth Planning Guide: Key Consideration for Integrating Mobile Technology into Health Programs: National Health Education Information and Communication Center (NHEICC) under Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal wanted to introduce mobile technology for health education and promotion in the country targeting the adolescent and youth population. A core group was formed in the leadership of NHEICC to move forward with this venture in partnership with ,H4L/USAID, GIZ, and UNFPA. Since use of mobile technology in national scale was first time in Nepal we had less technical know how to plan, design and implement this sort of activity. In this respect, H4L team started literature review and browsing "Health COMpass Web Site" in search of information, reference and guide books to design and implement the program. We found what we wanted, "The mHealth Planning Guide" book. We followed three step planning process ie; 1) Concept Development, 2) Solution Design & Testing 3) Planning for Implementation. The most important thing is that we are now familiar with the ICT terms and technology. It directed us to do feasibility study, landscape analysis and capacity need. It also guided us for SMS message development, pretesting message content with target groups and developing M&E plan. It did enhanced our knowledge and skill in drafting TOR for the Value Added Service provider. In every step the guide book worked as Bible for us. Great support for us.

Why I love these:

These two resources explain what steps and approaches have to be followed by program managers in designing the health communication strategies and mHealth programs.

Since I am familiar with the "P" process approach in health communication program planning and designing, these steps guided me to perform the task in ease. Moreover, these resource materials are of such a high standard that participants and stakeholders alike were able to appreciate the methodology in developing a communication strategy.

The mHealth Guide book has a three step approach for designing mHealth programs. Anyone can work on mHealth Initiatives with the help of this document, which guides you in a step by step process to design the program. It familiarizes you with mHealth terminology and helps to develop M & E plans as well.

These two guides have been very helpful and very handy for me as reference books, So I have them at hand both electronically as well as in hard copy format.