An international course offered by the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in association with the CUNY SPH Center for Systems and Community Design, the COMBI Institute, and the World Health Organization.

Social and Behavioral Change (SBC)

Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI) in Health and Social Development

June 10 – June 21, 2024

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
55 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), The Advertising Council 

Course Coordinator:
Dr. Everold N. Hosein
President, The COMBI Institute
Distinguished Scholar, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
Senior Communication Advisor, World Health Organization (WHO)
Communication Consultant to UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNWOMEN

Applications are now being accepted for this 10-day training program on Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI) in Health and Social Development offered at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). The course will focus on behavioral and communication challenges in a variety of health topics and social development issues such as environmental educationearly childhood stimulation and development, violence against women and children, and other public health and social development concerns. The training will be applicable to any area facing these behavioral challenges, including the behaviors of policymakers.

Course Description:
This 10-day course focuses sharply on communication planning for behavioral impact in health and social development as part of a program of Social and Behavioral Change. Behavioral results are viewed as the primary end-goals of health and social development programs. The course stresses that behavioral impact comes with effective communication programs purposefully planned for behavioral results, and not only directed at awareness creation, attitude change, advocacy, or public education. The private sector experience in successfully using Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) for consumer behavioral results points to an approach for achieving behavioral objectives in health and social development. The World Health Organization has been applying this IMC approach to a variety of desired health behaviors over the past 22 years in over 70 countries and refers to it as “COMBI” (Communication for Behavioral-Impact). UNICEF country offices in over 20 countries have been using the COMBI approach within its program communication and communication-for-development (C4D) efforts, and now in its Social and Behavior Change (SBC) work. UNFPA, UNEP, UN WOMEN and UNDP have also used the COMBI behavioral communication approach.

COMBI is not about producing posters and T-shirts and pamphlets. It applies in an integrated way the disciplines of community engagement, interpersonal counseling, personal selling, health education, mass communication, folk media, social media, marketing (including village-level marketing traditions), public relations and public advocacy, administrative mobilization, advertising, and market research – directed at achieving desired behavioral outcomes.

The course is intended for:
Health and social development professionals who have the responsibility for designing, supervising or managing health education/promotion/communication, information-education-communication (IEC) programs, and other strategic communication/social mobilization/program communication efforts to achieve specific behavioral results in health and social development.

Prior communication experience is not required for this training.

Learning Objectives
Participants will learn how to apply the 10-step planning process of COMBI in the strategic planning of communication programs for behavioral results. Topics to be covered include:

  • COMBI (Communication for Behavioral Impact)
  • COMBI Foundational Principles
  • Behavior Adoption and Maintenance
  • Basic Communication Principles
  • Role of Communication in Behavior Adoption/Maintenance
  • Marketing Principles from Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) for Bridging the Knowledge/Action Gap
  • Communication for Development (C4D)
  • Sexual Health Communication and Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR)
  • Integrated Communication Action Areas for COMBI—Administrative Mobilization, Public Relations and the Mass Media, Advocacy, Community Engagement and Group Communication, Advertising and Social Media, Personal Selling/Interpersonal Communication, Point of Service Promotion
  • Marketing Research and Behavioral Impact Evaluation
  • The 10-Step COMBI Planning Process and COMBI Planning Practicum

All participants, in working groups, will be involved in developing a COMBI Plan for presentation on the final day of the training program.

The Course Coordinator
Dr. Everold N. Hosein is President of the COMBI Institute Inc., and Distinguished Scholar at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH). Dr. Hosein is an international communication specialist with over 40 years of experience in strategic marketing communication, advocacy and public relations, and IEC (information-education-communication) related to social development issues, particularly in public health, sexual and reproductive health (including maternal/child health, family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention), population and development, health promotion, nutrition, early childhood education, juvenile justice, children’s welfare and girls education, and agricultural and rural development. Dr. Hosein serves as a Senior Communication Advisor/Consultant to WHO, and as a COMBI Communication Consultant to UNICEF, UNFPA, UNEP and UN WOMEN.

He created the Communication for Behavioural Impact method at New York University in 1994. It was adopted by the World Health Organization in 2000. Previous International COMBI Summer Institutes have been held in New York City (New York University and City University of New York), Hong Kong (Hong Kong University), and Nagoya, Japan (Nagoya University School of Medicine).

US $2,950 per person (includes costs for all course materials).  A non-refundable advance of US $1,000 of the US$2,950 tuition will be expected to be paid by May 1, 2024 upon acceptance to the course. The remaining tuition fee will need to be paid by May 29 2024. Tuition fees will be paid to The COMBI Institute by bank wire transfer and payment instructions for this will be provided at the time of acceptance into the course. Please note that no scholarships are available for this course from CUNY or The COMBI Institute.

Accommodation and meals will be the responsibility of individual participants or their sponsors. CUNY will offer some advice on suitable accommodations near CUNY SPH.

The language of instruction will be English.

This two-week course runs June 10 – June 21, 2024. Sessions will be held Monday through Friday (no program over the weekend) from 9:00am to 5:30pm Registration on the first morning will be at 8:30am.  Working groups will be expected to meet on their own time for additional work outside the formal daytime sessions.

Application Process and Deadlines
Applicants should submit an application form to Dr. Everold Hosein, Course Coordinator, via e-mail: by May 3, 2024. Applications after this date will be considered on a space availability basis.

The application form is available here:
CUNY COMBI Application Form 2024.

Visa Requirements
All participants from overseas must have valid visas to attend this course

For More Information
For information about CUNY SPH and the conference location contact Annie Dunlap at the CUNY Center for Systems and Community Design: