Examining the characteristics of social and behavior change communication intervention costs in low- and middle-income countries: A hedonic method approach

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Understanding the costs of health interventions is critical for generating budgets, planning and managing programs, and conducting economic evaluations to use when allocating scarce resources. Here, we utilize techniques from the hedonic pricing literature to estimate the characteristics of the costs of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) interventions, which aim to improve health-seeking behaviors and important intermediate determinants to behavior change. SBCC encompasses a wide range of interventions including mass media (e.g., radio, television), mid media (e.g., community announcements, live dramas), digital media (e.g., short message service/phone reminders, social media), interpersonal communication (e.g., individual or group counseling), and provider-based SBCC interventions focused on improving provider attitudes and provider-client communication. While studies have reported on the costs of specific SBCC interventions in low- and middleincome countries, little has been done to examine SBCC costs across multiple studies and interventions. We use compiled data across multiple SBCC intervention types, health areas, and low- and middle-income countries to explore the characteristics of the costs of SBCC interventions. Despite the wide variation seen in the unit cost data, we can explain between 63 and 97 percent of total variance and identify a statistically significant set of characteristics (e.g., health area) for media and interpersonal communication interventions. Intervention intensity is an important determinant for both media and interpersonal communication, with costs increasing as intervention intensity increases; other important characteristics for media interventions include intervention subtype, target population group, and country income as measured by per capita Gross National Income. Important characteristics for interpersonal communication interventions include health area, intervention subtype, target population group and geographic scope.






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