This brief offers practical guidance on social listening and social (media) monitoring as tools to inform social and behavior change programs, intended for global and regional program implementers, evaluators, and donors in USAID priority countries. This brief explains how social listening and social monitoring can be important tools for collecting information about target audiences’ knowledge and attitudes, as well as their exposure and responses to particular interventions. Using applied examples in Francophone West Africa, it illustrates social and social monitoring steps, provides examples of lessons, and identifies how these methods can be applied to social and behavior change programming. People throughout the world increasingly use social media to express themselves and engage in conversations about their lives and their health; social and behavior change programs can utilize social listening for insights into people’s health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Insights generated through social listening and monitoring can be complementary with other monitoring and evaluation techniques to produce data-rich learning environments for program design and adaptation.
Breakthrough RESEARCH. 2020. "Informing social and behavior change programs: Using social listening and social monitoring," Breakthrough RESEARCH Programmatic Research Brief. Washington, DC: Population Council.