The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) is pleased to announce the Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Research Annual Program Statement (APS).
Goal: Contribute to USAID’s behavioral science investments to advance research and technical assistance that improves the health of women, men, children, and their communities, and to strengthen local capacity to design, lead, and monitor SBC research and learning efforts in USAID-assisted countries.
Purpose: The purpose of the SBC Research APS is to strengthen the generation and utilization of SBC evidence to improve the uptake and continuation of healthy behaviors, including but not limited to healthy spacing and timing of pregnancies, care-seeking at onset of illness, adequate complementary feeding, childhood immunizations, use of health and nutrition services, and other health outcomes.
To achieve this purpose, the SBC Research APS will focus on three key areas of work:
- research to answer priority social and behavioral science questions to improve the uptake and continuation of healthy behaviors;
- research to improve the monitoring and evaluation of SBC programs; and
- technical assistance for improved SBC research utilization in USAID and host country government-funded health and development programs and policies.
- Result 1: Generate new evidence through the implementation of innovative SBC interventions. SBC Research will focus on evidence gaps on how to design and implement effective and sustainable interventions to improve healthy behavioral outcomes. There is widespread evidence of the importance of social and system factors beyond individual knowledge and attitudes in determining health-seeking behaviors, including social and gender norms, power dynamics, and structural, environmental determinants like access, quality, and cost of seeking and continuing to utilize health services.
- Result 2: Improved monitoring and evaluation of SBC interventions. SBC Research will improve the measurement of SBC interventions, including process documentation, consistent usage of validated SBC indicators, and adaptive monitoring and evaluation. Cost effectiveness, scale and sustainability of SBC interventions, consistency in measurement, and theory of change process documentation have all been identified as critical evidence gaps in published literature on SBC interventions.
- Result 3: Improved research utilization of SBC evidence in USAID and host country government-funded health and development programs. SBC Research will improve research utilization among donor and government-funded health and development programs. Moving beyond the pilot stage of innovative research to adoption and scale-up of evidence-based practices is critical for the sustainability and improved impact of health and development programming.
Period of Performance: The proposed period of performance for each agreement awarded as a result of each Round(s) under this APS will not exceed five years in duration beginning from the negotiated start date, and subject to availability of funds.
Benefiting Geographic Areas
- SBC Research award(s) will provide global leadership and will implement activities in countries where USAID currently supports health and other complementary social and behavior change research activities, primarily in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with a limited number of countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Current USAID priority countries by health technical area are listed on the official website. This does not, however, preclude activities in other countries that received USAID support. If a Round of this APS has a specific geographic focus, it will be clearly stated.
- 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 a concept paper under each Round(s) of this APS. Further, the organization must be a legally recognized organizational entity under applicable law, not otherwise restricted by statue, regulation, Agency policy, or administrative determination (i.e., suspension and debarment) from receiving assistance, and legally registered in a country that is not prohibited source per ADS 310.
- Applicants must demonstrate that they have capacity to operate in more than one country. Concept papers and resulting full applications can be global or regional. The organization(s) must have the capacity to work simultaneously in or across multiple countries, particularly in USAID’s focus countries.
- Concept papers from organizations that do not meet the above eligibility criteria will not be reviewed and evaluated. Individuals and consortiums are not eligible to apply for any Rounds of this APS. Organizations that wish to be subawardees can also submit a concept paper if they wish to be evaluated and if successful, invited to co-creation; subawardees that did not submit a concept paper (or were unsuccessful) can be added at the full application stage.
- Organizations in developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply, inasmuch as they will support not only the objectives of this APS and the Round(s) they are applying to, but also USAID’s objectives to build the capacities in local organizations that are needed for sustainable development. USAID strongly encourages applications from potential new partners who meet the above eligibility requirements and are willing to be subjected to a Pre-Award Survey to determine whether the prospective recipient has the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills – or ability to obtain them – in order to achieve the objectives of the project, or whether specific conditions will be needed.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332932