Breakthrough ACTION

Tackling intractable challenges around the world through social and behavior change

Breakthrough ACTION, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Program’s largest project, ignites collective action and encourages people to adopt healthier behaviors—from using modern contraceptive methods to sleeping under bed nets to getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The work harnesses the demonstrated power of communication and integrates innovative approaches from marketing science, behavioral economics and human-centered design.

Breakthrough ACTION started as a five-year, $300 million award in 2017 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In December 2021, the project received a three-year, $204 million expansion to continue its transformational work. As USAID’s flagship global social and behavior change project, Breakthrough ACTION is active in over 40 countries and growing.

The project’s focus areas include:

The project builds on the legacy of HC3 while nurturing new partnership with governments, civil society and communities around the world to:

Move the Field Forward

Expanding connections between SBC practitioners, strengthening their capacity in new approaches and setting the global agenda

Strengthen Advocacy for Increased Investments

Providing leadership, making compelling arguments for, and elevating the importance of SBC

Implement High-Quality, Country-Driven Interventions

Providing focused technical assistance to USAID missions and partners around the world to enable local governments and communities to improve health

Improve Health Outcomes​

Addressing intractable challenges through established and new approaches that identify and solve behavioral barriers to good health






Implementing Partners

Save the Children, ideas42, ThinkPlace, Camber Collective, the International Center for Research on Women, Viamo

Advocacy, Angola, Bangladesh, Barbados, Behavioral Economics, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Capacity Strengthening, Child Survival, Community Mobilization, Cote d'Ivoire, COVID, Current, Democratic Republic of Congo, Digital, Dominican Republic, Ebola, El Salvador, Emerging Infectious and Neglected Diseases, Entertainment Education, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Family Planning, Gender, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, HIV and AIDS, Honduras, Human-centered Design, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Knowledge Management, Liberia, Malaria, Malawi, Mali, Maternal and Child Health, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Nutrition, Philippines, Public-private Partnerships, Risk Communication, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Social and Behavior Change, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tuberculosis, Vietnam, Water and Hygiene, Youth, Zambia