The Faculty of Integrated Development Studies of S.D Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (UBIDS) has launched a stand-alone Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) programme.

The programme is the first of its kind in Ghana and will kick start in July and August this year.
The Certificate in social and behaviour change communication programme gives cutting edge skills to analyze and present developmental issues more pragmatically and set the agenda for social discourse that will bring positive change to society.
Speaking at the launch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Emmanuel Derbile said a modern University can only be relevant in the development if its programmes respond the developmental needs of society.
He acknowledged the role of UNICEF in advancing international development particularly, towards education, the wash sector and especially in promoting child-centred development.
“As a University, we identified with your vision and mission of advancing the development of children because this is the only way we can guarantee a better future and sustainability for the world,” he stated.
Professor Derbile was certain that the certificate program in social and behaviour change communication will help build the required capacity for sustainable development in Ghana, Africa and the world at large.
He said many of the challenges of development are social and can only be addressed in a sustainable way through effective communication.
“Just last week I was in the Upper East Region and interacted with a Development practitioner, he shared an experience about how government intervention to build toilets in some communities and the case is that you go to these communities and the most beautiful edifice is a toilet.  It raises many questions especially when you reflect on the outcomes that the communities abandon the project, they don’t put it to use so when a thing like this happens, we need to be asking ourselves why are we trying to improve people’s lives and they are not utilising the opportunity,” he observed.
Head of Department of African and General Studies (DAGS), Dr Damasus Tuurosong who is the brain behind the initiative, explained the content of the new programme and it significance. He added that since the beginning or the 2020-2021 academic year, DAGS has been mainstreaming social and behaviour communication concepts and models into its post graduate Development Communication programmes to equip students with the necessary knowledge and hands-on practical skills.

HoD, African and General Studies Dr. Damasus Tuurosong

Dr Tuurosong was very appreciative of the assistance UNICEF Ghana and others gave towards the mounting of the programme.
A Communication for Development Officer at UNICEF Ghana, Mrs Charity Nikoi, said Ghana has reached a stage where a lot of problems come from engagement with communities and also service providers and the need to put in place the right policies to back these soft skills which are integrated in social and behaviour change communication.
Communication for Development Officer at UNICEF, Mrs Charity Nikoi
Mrs Nikoi was hope that development will be accelerated much faster than envisaged.
She stated: “We are going to support the University to go further with the diploma, degree and even the postgraduate courses. We know that from the gaps that we found and the course that has been launched, we will build capacity of students in a way that when they leave school, they will be ready for the job market. The University will have the opportunity to also partner with people or industries that need these soft skills such in advertising, agriculture, health, education amongst others.”
She pledged UNICEF’s support to the University in seeing to it that SBCC for the development and well-being of women and children is achieved.