Social and Behavior Change: Maternal and Child Survival

Speeches Shim

A community action group in Lakhai Upazila, Bangladesh meets monthly to discuss health concerns and healthy behaviors around pregnancy.
A community action group in Lakhai Upazila, Bangladesh meets monthly to discuss health concerns and healthy behaviors around pregnancy.
Photo credit: Amy Fowler/USAID

Interventions which directly affect knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and social norms that influence health or development outcomes, known collectively as social and behavior change (SBC) interventions, are vital to the success of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) global health programs. In USAID’s 25 maternal and child health priority countries, millions of lives could be saved through social and behavior change interventions by 2020.

Simple behaviors practiced at the individual, household, and community levels can save lives and improve health outcomes. Families and health care workers who are able to integrate these healthy behaviors into their communities ensure the sustainability of USAID’s maternal and child survival efforts beyond our development assistance.

USAID’s Response

USAID’s maternal and child health social and behavior change programs are guided by Accelerator Behaviors—behaviors with the most potential to reduce the risk of preventable maternal and child deaths and also have low uptake in a particular environment. These behaviors maximize investments, accelerate progress on maternal and child survival, and strengthen health programs’ long-term sustainability.

Icon of a running child
Child Health
Care for Pneumonia
Treatment for Diarrhea
Icon of a newborn child
Newborn Health
Essential Newborn Care
Care for Newborn Illness
Icon of a syringe
Full course of Immunizations
Icon of a woman breastfeeding
Early initiation of Breastfeeding
Exclusive Breastfeeding
Complementary Feeding
Icon of a mosquito
Insecticide-treated New Use
Intermittent Preventative Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy
Care for Malaria
Icon of a reproductive health tools
Reproductive Health
Adolescent First Birth
Birth Spacing
Icon of a pregnant woman
Maternal Health
Antenatal Care
Delivery in Health Facility
Icon of hands being washed
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Handwashing with Soap
Safe Disposal of Human Feces
Safe Drinking Water


USAID’s social and behavior change flagship programs work in close collaboration to increase the practices of priority health behaviors. These projects’ approaches to maternal and child health enhance the impact and sustainability of health service delivery and other development programs by positively shifting health-seeking behaviors, conducting research, improving provider behaviors, and fostering supportive social norms.

USAID's Impact




Global Health

Last updated: June 02, 2019

Share This Page