24 March 2012

mBCC Field Guide for Developing Mobile Behavior Change Communication Programs

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The “mBCC Field Guide: A Resource for Developing Mobile Behavior Change Communication Programs,” is a new tool that helps users guide the design of mobile applications for health and provides insights about what works in mobile behavior change communication is now available. Compiled by Abt Associates, examines what is known about the power of mobile communication tools to influence health behaviors for consumers and health care providers. The guide was developed under the auspices of the mHealth Working Group, a global health forum established in 2009 for members to provide and share guidance on mHealth implementation. It is supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s Knowledge for Health project.

Mobile behavior change communication (mBCC) is defined here as the use of mobile phones to promote behavior change. This definition encompasses health and clinical behaviors for clients and health providers (e.g., reminders to take a pill or quizzes to improve health workers’ counseling skills) rather than operational behaviors (e.g., shifting from a paper-based survey to a mobile survey).

The primary audience for the mBCC Field Guide is practitioners experienced in developing BCC strategies who are considering employing mobile solutions but need guidance on key issues and on questions to consider in the design process. Evidence-based examples and tools are highlighted wherever possible, although we recognize that few programs have published impact or outcome data.

The authors hope that this Field Guide will be a “living document.” We welcome your feedback and suggestions for improving the guide’s usefulness. We plan to issue updated versions as mobile platforms and the evidence base evolves. Contacts and references to relevant organizations and resources are noted wherever possible to facilitate communication and collaboration. Please use the evaluation form at the end of the guide to provide specific comments and recommendations.

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