Compelling, credible, recent, direct impact data
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INTRODUCTION: Policy, Strategy, and Investment Implications - SBC Direct Impact Evidence

Wed, 05/03/2023 - 05:11

UNICEF, with support from The Communication Initiative (The CI), is leading a process to identify the most compelling and credible research data that demonstrate the direct impact of social change and behaviour change (SBC) strategies on priority development issues, including for UNICEF. That growing collection of evidence - and the criteria for that evidence to be included (e.g., must be published in a high-quality journal and have an extensive randomised controlled trial (RCT) or systematic review methodology - can be reviewed at this link.

The natural questions that flow from that evidence are:

  • What are the policy implications for organisations?
  • What are the strategy implications for SBC initiatives?
  • What arguments flow for increased investment in SBC by bilaterals, foundations, UN agencies, and other funders?

This brief, initial set of notes seeks to identify and source from that impact data what should be those social change, community engagement, and behaviour change policy, strategic, and investment priorities.

These notes are presented for discussion and debate. We would encourage everyone to review the data (including monitoring it as the collection grows) and draw their own conclusions.

There are 5 major areas of focus below. For each, we have identified the key evidence and impact data that result in these themes being chosen and the policy, strategy, and investment argument implications that flow from those data.

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Why the focus on direct impact data?

A common challenge from policy makers, funders, community members, people directly experiencing development issues, and governments is: Demonstrate your Impact. Prove that what you are doing works. The high quality, highly credible data presented on the cards below is designed to help you answer that question for your social change, behaviour change, community engagement, communication and media for development, strategy formulation, policy engagement and funding initiatives. At this link filter the research data to your specific interests and priorities

Why a playing cards design?

There is a physical pack of cards with this data (to get a copy please request through the comment form for any card). The card approach allows for easy identification and selection of relevant direct impact data in any context. For example if talking with a donor and you need to identify proof of impact say "take a look at the 7 of Hearts". Quick access can be provided to high-quality data for many areas of your work – funding, planning, policy, advocacy, community dialogue, training, partner engagement, and more. A card deck is also engaging, easy to use and share, a conversation starter, and a resource - and they are fun and different. So we kept that design for the online images as it can serve similar purposes. 

What are the criteria for inclusion?

The impact data presented meets the following high standard for inclusion criteria:

  • Positive change or trend in a priority development issue;
  • Social change or behaviour change strategy or process;
  • Randomized Control Trial or Systematic Review methodology;
  • High quality peer review journal published;
  • Numeric impact data point
  • Published since 2010.