Call for Applications: GH Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Activity

Deadline Date: May 29, 2024

Donor Name: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Grant Size: More than $1 million

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking applications for a cooperative agreement from qualified entities to implement the GH Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Activity.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to invest in a five-year cooperative agreement titled GH Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Activity to support countries in achieving desired improvements in health and development outcomes.

The GH SBC Activity will build upon current USAID investments in SBC research and programming, including both global and bilateral projects, to guide integration of SBC evidence and theory in development programming, support generation and use of new learning, strengthen local technical and organizational capacity, and drive local leadership of SBC programming for better, broader, and more sustainable results. The project will fulfill a global leadership function within SBC, working through new and existing partnerships to create opportunities for locally-driven, innovative, and cost-effective SBC programs; systematic integration of SBC best practices within public and private health systems; and generating, synthesizing, and catalyzing the application of evidence-based and theory-informed SBC in diverse program settings to accelerate achievement of global health and development goals.


  • While focused primarily on health, the project may address SBC needs in other sectors, with particular attention to areas of potential complementarity such as environmental conservation, agriculture, food security, and nutrition. 
  • Within the health sector, the project will maintain a substantive but non-exclusive focus on family planning, reproductive health (FP/RH) and reproductive empowerment; malaria; and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), with attention to emerging pandemic threats and other infectious diseases. 
  • Considerations of USAID priorities such as localization, gender integration, youth engagement/integration, health systems strengthening, the inclusion of LGBTQI+ people, the inclusion of people with physical and cognitive disabilities, engaging the voices, skills, and experiences of all—including marginalized and underrepresented groups such as racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities— and climate change, will be a focus across the project.
  • The following are the GH SBC Activity’s three intermediate results: 
    • IR 1: Theory-informed, evidence-based, locally-led SBC programming designed, implemented, and monitored;
    • IR 2: Capacity of country-level systems and organizations to fund, initiate, manage, monitor, and sustain theory-informed, evidence-based, locally-led SBC programming strengthened; and
    • IR 3: Evidence for effective SBC programming generated, packaged, and shared.

Cross-Cutting Priorities

  • The cross-cutting priorities are considered important considerations across the project and its activities.
    • Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
    • Youth
    • Health Systems Strengthening
    • Climate Change
    • Localization

Priority Challenges in SBC

  • Uneven SBC capacity among local actors to drive and sustain theory-based, evidence-informed SBC programming.
  • Limited use of the full range of evidence-informed SBC approaches; specifically, an overreliance on communication-based approaches.
  • Inadequate application of gender-transformative programming to address deep-rooted gender inequalities.
  • Insufficient integration of SBC into health systems to optimize health system performance, effect change of system actors, and support sustained, large-scale SBC programming.
  • Weak SBC monitoring and evaluation systems and inadequate and inconsistent measurement of behavioral outcomes and impact have hindered the assessment of program effectiveness and use of local data for evidence-based decision making.
  • Lack of preparedness for country-led, coordinated SBC responses to mitigate health shocks such as COVID-19.
  • Difficulties in accessing and analyzing the existing global evidence base and other programmatic resources necessitates the use of innovative and effective approaches to information-sharing and knowledge management.
  • Untapped opportunities to understand and thoughtfully incorporate new technologies and media into SBC research and programming.

Funding Information

  • USAID intends to award one (1) Cooperative Agreement pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity. Subject to funding availability and at the discretion of the Agency, USAID intends to  provide an award ceiling up to $321.5 million in total USAID funding over a five (5) year period.
  • All funding will be provided on an incremental basis subject to the availability of funds and successful performance. USAID reserves the right to adjust funding levels, the funding amounts, cycle of funding, sources of funding, and/or terms of the agreement as a result of availability of funding, U.S. Government requirements or recipient performance.
  • Note that not all funding is interchangeable and some budget adjustments may need to take place. Should such changes occur, the recipient will be notified appropriately. As the intent of the project is to stimulate and support the awardees’ existing activities, a 10 percent cost share is required for this award.

Eligibility Criteria

  • U.S. and non-U.S. public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, public international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, are eligible to submit applications for this RFA. Further, the organization must be a legally recognized, organizational entity under applicable law, not otherwise restricted by statute, regulation, Agency policy, or administrative determination (i.e., suspension and debarment) from receiving assistance, and legally registered in a country that is not a prohibited source per ADS 310.
  • Additionally, eligible applicants must have the:
    • Ability to work in more than one country (multiple countries) simultaneously.
    • Demonstrated capacity in support of implementation of SBC activities across a range of  health and related areas in LMICs (this capacity can be achieved across the prime applicant and proposed partner organizations).
    • Demonstrated managerial, technical, and institutional capacities to achieve the results, including financial systems.
    • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with host-country governments, NGOs and other donors to undertake SBC programming and advance policy and advocacy.
    • Established financial management, monitoring and evaluation processes, internal control systems, and policies and procedures that comply with established U.S. Government standards, laws, and regulations.

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