Social and Behavior Change Programs

A woman helps a mother with her baby

USAID’s social and behavior change flagship programs, Breakthrough RESEARCH and Breakthrough ACTION, 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, improving provider behaviors and fostering supportive social norms.

  • Breakthrough ACTION works in partnership with host country governments, civil society and communities to implement creative and sustainable SBC programming, nurture SBC champions, mainstream new techniques and technologies and advocate strategic and sustained investment in SBC by forging, testing and scaling-up new and integrated approaches to social and behavior change.

    These efforts harness the demonstrated power of communication—from mass media to community outreach to user-driven social media campaigns—to inspire sustainable change, while also taking advantage of innovative approaches from marketing science, behavioral economics, and human-centered design.

  • Breakthrough RESEARCH complements Breakthrough ACTION’s SBC programs by providing the data and evidence needed to improve uptake of priority health behaviors and enable positive social norm change. The project equips host country governments, USAID partners, service delivery organizations and others with the data and evidence needed to integrate proven and cost-effective social and behavior change approaches into their programs.

USAID’s TRANSFORM project implements evidence-based SBC interventions grounded in the project partners’ diverse fields of expertise: behavioral economics, social psychology, advertising, marketing and human-centered design. In conjunction with and in support of existing health initiatives, TRANSFORM implements communications strategies that are designed to stimulate, achieve and sustain behavior changes to critical maternal and child health challenges.

As part of USAID’s TRANSFORM project, ACCELERATE aims to increase Agency- and Mission-level support for integrating Accelerator Behaviors into health portfolios; enhance the design and management of health programs using the Behavioral Integration Guidance throughout the program cycle; improve tracking and measurement of Accelerator Behaviors; and provide technical assistance on an as-needed basis.

Last updated: September 19, 2019

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