In recent years, social and behavior change (SBC) programming has experienced a notable shift away from a vertical approach focusing on one health or development topic to integrated approaches concerning multiple health or development issues or outcomes under the same program. To help address important evidence gaps in SBC programming, Breakthrough RESEARCH worked with a range of SBC experts to generate a research and learning agenda that includes a core set of consensus-driven, prioritized implementation science questions. Implementation science research is well-suited to the challenges of SBC because it assesses interventions taking place in real-world contexts and factors in various social, structural, economic, and political realities from multiple perspectives. Implementation science research also examines the process and results of implementation. It has an explicit focus on how to introduce potential solutions into a health system or promote large-scale use and sustainability. This research and learning agenda builds on longstanding investments to improve SBC. It is designed to generate knowledge that can help focus the global SBC community, development partners, and donors on the most important questions related to the effectiveness and efficiency of integrated SBC programs.
Breakthrough RESEARCH. 2019. "Advancing integrated social and behavior change programming," Research and Learning Agenda. Washington, DC: Population Council.