Social Behavior Change Programming for Public Health Emergencies: Lessons Learned from the USAID Zika Response in Latin America and the Caribbean

Date of Publication
2020

This brief provides insights from the social and behavior change (SBC) line of effort during the 2016-2019 Zika response when USAID and its implementing partners collaborated closely with national health ministries and local stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

It describes strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and chal­lenges, and highlights seven key recommendations that future public health emergency responses should incorporate to safeguard the health and well-being of people around the world.

The brief offers seven core lessons:

  1. Coordinate with SBC stakeholders at all levels early and often.
  2. Determine priority preventive behaviors through a participatory process with all stakeholders at the beginning of the response.
  3. Integrate SBC into other technical areas.
  4. Engage community members to develop context-appropriate solutions through participatory design methods.
  5. Identify and mobilize SBC expertise at all levels to ensure availability of skills to implement effective SBC programming.
  6. Prioritize formative research from the beginning of a response.
  7. Coordinate monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities.