Evaluating Capacity Strengthening for Social and Behaviour Change Communication through Outcome Harvesting

Insights from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Liberia

  • Tilly A. Gurman
  • Grace Awangtang
  • Lindsey Tyler Leslie
Keywords: global health projects, capacity strengthening, social and behaviour change communication, SBCC, outcome harvesting


Global health projects, especially those that focus on social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) and/or capacity strengthening, have become increasingly more complex.  Selecting appropriate ways to measure the success of these projects is especially challenging. Conventional evaluation approaches, which tend to focus solely on change among individuals, often fall short in capturing a complete picture in complex SBCC projects, especially those involving capacity strengthening of organisations and systems. Outcome Harvesting is an innovative and participatory evaluation approach which embraces, rather than ignores, complexity. The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative project (HC3) implemented Outcome Harvesting in three countries (Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Liberia) to evaluate capacity strengthening activities for improved SBCC. This article presents challenges regarding evaluating complex international SBCC projects, introduces Outcome Harvesting, summarises HC3’s OH evaluations, and outlines useful insights for future SBCC-related OH evaluations.


Author Biographies

Tilly A. Gurman

Tilly A. Gurman, DrPH, MPH, is a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP). Under her previous role as Research Director for the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) project, she led the  Outcome Harvesting evaluation of three countries’ capacity strengthening efforts. She is dedicated to using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to support rigorous, yet practical, research and has supported projects in various countries (e.g., Swaziland, Guatemala, Guinea, Dominican Republic).

Grace Awangtang

Grace Awangtang, MPH, serves as Breakthrough ACTION's Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at CCP. Her research at CCP has focused on using survey methods to identify priorities for SBCC programmes combatting malaria among children under five and pregnant women.  Under the HC3 project, she supported the implementation of outcome harvesting in Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Liberia.

Lindsey Tyler Leslie

Lindsey Tyler Leslie, MSPH, is a Programme Officer II at the CCP. She has worked in Central America, South Asia, and East Africa on multiple health areas, including Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Zoonotic Diseases. Under the HC3 project, she served as a member of the HC3 evaluation team that conducted Outcome Harvesting. 

How to Cite
Gurman, T., Awangtang, G., & Leslie, L. (2018). Evaluating Capacity Strengthening for Social and Behaviour Change Communication through Outcome Harvesting. The Journal of Development Communication, 29(2), 45-61. Retrieved from http://jdc.journals.unisel.edu.my/index.php/jdc/article/view/96