Inaugural Social Behaviour Change Course for Practitioners

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The Centre for Behaviour Change and Communication (CBCC), through its partnership with USIU-Africa’s Psychology Department, launched its first short course in March 2021. The Social and Behaviour Change Training and Certification Programme for Practitioners was conducted virtually for five days between March 22 and March 26 2021.

This inaugural class was officially opened by Professor Munyae Mulinge, acting DVC Academic and Student Affairs, USIU-Africa. The official launch was graced by over 40 participants and had the presence of key management staff including Head of Psychology Department, Prof. Josephine Arasa and CBCC Managing Director, Mr. Peter Lengewa. The five-day course had over 20 learners, who through sheer dedication and commitment successfully completed the certificate course.

Social Behaviour Change (SBC) is an approach that helps to address complex and dynamic behaviour-linked issues at individual, organizational and societal levels. This approach supports people-centred development and has been shown to influence lasting and sustainable behaviour change.

CBCC through its facilitation was able to take the SBC learners through an intense programme that included an initial rigorous individual capacity assessment that enabled the lessons to be adapted to suit the needs of the learners. The course was structured in key modules that were aligned to SBC systematic processes and key SBC principles. The learners were not only exposed to SBC theories but also practical examples and case studies of various SBC projects. From the course evaluation and personal testimonials, the learners expressed their satisfaction with both the quality of facilitation and their heightened level of SBC knowledge and skill related to SBC design, execution and evaluation processes.

In her comments, Dr. Elsie Newa noted that the training was eye-opening session.
“The timeliness, rigor and professionalism that the team showed in the presentation of each session is commendable. As a counseling psychologist and lecturer in Psychology, the training has given me tools that I will endeavor to apply particularly in the ecological model in my counselling sessions and in class,” she said.

“This will help me to get an understanding on how culture and deep-rooted norms influence behaviour including intrinsic reasons why some people change while others may not. I will put all the factors in consideration,” she added.

Her comments were echoed by Elsie Wandera, CEO of Heroes of Change, who noted that the program was very informative, adding that the lessons and principles that she had learned would be employed at an organizational level to ensure the development of impactful and concrete SBC programs and interventions.

The learning did not stop after the five-day course period, as the learners were given practical assignments to test the Social Behaviour Change theories within their actual work settings. This will enable them to successfully kick-start various SBC initiatives with acquired concepts.

Having successfully undertaken this initial SBC course for practitioners, CBCC and USIU-Africa will offer the second class from July 19-23, 2021.

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