Beyond Awareness Creation: Triggering for Positive Behavior Change in Nutrition
The potential of millions of children can be unlocked with good nutrition. Inadequate care and feeding practices, food insecurity, inequitable gender relations, an unhealthy household environment and inadequate health services are all leading contributors to early childhood malnutrition. Each of these underlying factors of undernutrition is heavily influenced by external factors in the food environment but also by behaviors related to food production and purchase, intrahousehold food distribution, care practices and hygiene.
Behavior is complex. Currently, one of the best-known strategies for improving the impact of nutrition-sensitive interventions that has been particularly effective in preventing stunting is Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC). SBCC is a behavior-centered approach to facilitate communities, households and individuals to understand, adopt and sustain improved nutrition-related practices. Demand for such practices from households and communities is dependent on knowledge, awareness, motivation to act, familiarity and habituation, which are often influenced by perceptions of social norms, attitudes and beliefs. Much of the existing nutrition-related SBCC effort has focused on increasing knowledge, raising awareness and/or sharing information; however, some SBCC actors are using more participatory approaches to move beyond awareness to engage emotions and harness motivators. “Triggering,” which is illustrated in this paper, is one such approach.
Recognizing the importance of demand creation and SBCC, SNV, together with the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen UR (CDI) and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), developed the Sustainable Nutrition for All (SN4A) project.
SNV is very pleased to announce the publication of the second technical brief based on key insights and findings from SN4A, titled "Triggering for Positive Behavior Change in Nutrition: Insights from Sustainable Nutrition for All in Uganda and Zambia." The brief is published in two forms, the full-length brief and a short summary with policy recommendations.
This technical brief provides an overview of the effect SBCC and triggering have on positive nutrition and hygiene behaviors. It summarizes some key insights and findings from SN4A in Zambia and Uganda and aims to assist policymakers, practitioners and researchers in understanding the approaches and tools used and to guide their investments in triggering and SBCC. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with governance staff, nutrition action groups (NAGs) and community members in November 2016 and in June 2017, and the findings are presented in this brief. Policy recommendations based on the impact evaluation will be published in the project’s upcoming policy brief.
This paper is the second in a series of six based on learnings from the Sustainable Nutrition for All project in Uganda and Zambia. The first brief of the series, The Power of Multi-Sectoral Governance in Addressing Malnutrition is available here.