The Department of Communication and UNICEF, Hyderabad Field Office jointly organised a two-day workshop on Communication for Social and Behavior Change (CSBC) curriculum rollout for universities on February 01 and 02.

Welcoming the participants, Prof. Vinod Pavarala said the National Education Policy (NEP) provides many opportunities for academic units in various disciplines including Journalism, Anthropology, Social Work etc to integrate SBC into their curriculum and offer either face-to-face or online courses.

The Department of Communication has, since its inception, had courses on how communication could be used for social change. It also facilitated two Communication for Development Global Workshops for UNICEF staff from over 30 countries, he added.

Outlining the objectives of the workshop, Ms. Seema Kumar, SBC specialist said the objectives of the workshop were to introduce and sensitise faculty members on the prospects, opportunities and career options available in the field of CSBC. UNICEF and the Department of Communication would handhold the departments wanting to integrate CSBC into their curriculum, she said.

Mr. Sony Kutty George, Office In-charge, UNICEF Hyderabad Field spoke on the importance of SBC and how universities could incorporate it into their curriculum.

Ms. Alka Malhotra, SBC specialist, UNICEF New Delhi said the idea of the workshop was to apprise and orientĀ  universities on the scope, importance and relevance of CSBC as well as prospects and career options. Outlining the nine modules developed by UNICEF, Ms. Malhotra said there was a huge demand for CSBC professionals and universities could do their bit by providing the skills and competencies to their students.

Five universities from different parts of the country that have integrated CSBC into their curriculum spoke of their experiences in administering CSBC courses/ programmes.

A panel discussion with representatives from the government, CSR, NGOs and multi-lateral agencies highlighted the need for CSBC professionals with the desired skills and competencies. Prof. Usha Raman, Head of the department moderated the panel discussion.

Two experts on behavior change and IT/AI addressed the participants on how SBC could lead to social transformation and how IT/AI could be used positively.

Participants at the workshop went through the nine modules on CSBC and made presentations on how they could possibly integrate it into their curriculum.

Prof. Vasuki Belavadi, Department of Communication coordinated the workshop.

Forty faculty members from universities in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra participated in the two-day workshop.