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close this bookSocial Mobilization for Reproductive Health (CEDPA; 2000; 160 pages)
View the documentIntroduction: Social Mobilization for Reproductive Health
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentHow To Use This Manual
View the documentWorkshop Overview
View the documentSample Workshop Schedule
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION ONE: Welcome and Setting the Stage
close this folderSESSION TWO: Defining Social Mobilization
View the documentA. What is Social Mobilization?
View the documentB. Community Mobilization, Advocacy, Behavior Change Communication, and Social Marketing
View the documentC. Conceptual Framework for Social Mobilization
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION THREE: Introduction to Coalitions
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION FOUR: Defining the Issue
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION FIVE: Coalition Building
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION SIX: Mobilizing for Equity: Gender and Reproductive Health Considerations
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION SEVEN: Developing a Plan of Action for Social Mobilization Coalitions
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION EIGHT: Enabling Change Through Understanding the Audience and Environment
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION NINE: Developing and Delivering the Message
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION TEN: Measuring Results of Social Mobilization
Open this folder and view contentsSESSION ELEVEN: Putting the Components Together for a Social Mobilization Campaign
View the documentSESSION TWELVE: Closing
View the documentBibliography

B. Community Mobilization, Advocacy, Behavior Change Communication, and Social Marketing

(45 minutes)


Explain that social mobilization builds on a number of important concepts and skills that are commonly used by NGOs in achieving change. They are community mobilization, advocacy, behavior change communication, and social marketing. These words are sometimes used interchangeably and in relation to one another. It is important to differentiate between them and look at how they relate to one another. This exercise will help clarify how each of these concepts and skills differs from social mobilization and the part each plays in social mobilization.


One by one, uncover the definitions on Flipcharts 2D, 2E, 2F, and 2G, and ask a volunteer to read them aloud to the group. Make sure that participants understand the definitions before you move on.

Community mobilization uses deliberate, participatory processes to involve local institutions, local leaders, community groups, and members of the community to organize for collective action toward a common purpose. Community mobilization is characterized by respect for the community and its needs.


Advocacy is a process that involves a series of actions conducted by organized citizens in order to transform power relationships. The purpose of advocacy is to achieve specific policy changes, program changes, or allocation of resources that benefit the population involved in this process. These changes can take place in the public or the private sector. Effective advocacy is conducted according to a strategic plan and within a reasonable time frame.

- Adapted from The Arias Foundation, Costa Rica


Behavior change communication is designed to achieve measurable objectives; it reaches and involves specific audiences and positions health practices persuasively as a benefit in the minds of the intended audience. BCC recognizes that behavior change is a process and that people usually move through several intermediate steps before they change their behavior.

- Adapted from Piotrow et al. 1997


Social marketing promotes and sells products, ideas, or services that are considered to have social value, using a variety of outlets and marketing approaches. Social marketing may not always be a component of social mobilization.

Population Services International (PSI) defines social marketing as the distribution of needed health products to lower-income persons by marketing through the existing local commercial and NGO infrastructures and by motivating healthy behavior.



Ask participants to go and stand by the component that they relate to most or are most familiar with. The groups should be fairly evenly spread out. Then give each participant the badge representing his or her component. Tell the participants that they should pin their badges on, because they will represent this component for the rest of the workshop.


Give participants Task #3, on pre-prepared Flipchart 2H, and pass out note cards.


In your component group:

1. Review the posted definition of your component.

2. Address the following questions:


• Who might your component be trying to reach?
• What is the objective of your component?
• How does your component link to social mobilization?

3. Write down the answers to each of these questions on a separate card and place it in the appropriate place on the grid on the wall nearest your component group. It's OK to have several answers to the questions.

Time: 20 minutes


While participants work on their task, recreate the blank grid depicted on Flipchart 2I or tape cards with the column and row headings onto the wall.


Reach Whom?


Link to Social Mobilization

Community Mobilization




Behavior Change Communication


Social Marketing




Ask the participants to reassemble and give them a few minutes to review the completed chart.

Ask the group:


• When you look at this chart, what sticks out to you about the people who are being reached?
• Is there anything missing from your group or other groups?
• What are the key elements of the links to social mobilization? Circle the main words mentioned.
• What are some examples of these components from your own experiences?

NOTE TO THE TRAINER: If the key points in Handout 2C are not covered in the component groups, take a few minutes to address some of them together.

Many participants will be familiar with community mobilization and may be confused about the difference between social and community mobilization, so it is important to ask:

How is social mobilization different from community mobilization?

This question does not address a box on the chart. Some points that distinguish social mobilization from community mobilization are listed below.

Social mobilization:


• Seeks to involve many sectors of society, creating networks and coalitions.
• Has participants and beneficiaries beyond community members.
• Can stimulate changes in social norms, new agendas, macro policy, and national programs.
• Involves many things going on in different places, at different times, sometimes spontaneously, but always coordinated.
• Is work with a community defined by issues rather than locality.

If participants have a hard time coming up with these ideas, refer to the examples of social mobilization from Session One and ask: What makes this different from a community-based mobilization effort?

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