international Expertise

Social and Behavior Change


Social and behavior change that delivers better outcomes. For all. 

Social and behavior change (SBC) is essential to realizing thriving health systems, which is why we integrate SBC into everything we do. For decades, we have embedded social and behavioral approaches into our work in family planning and reproductive health; maternal and child health; nutrition; immunization; HIV, TB; malaria; and systems strengthening.

Our approach to SBC is behavior-led, rather than intervention-driven. Using a systemic view, we draw from disciplines ranging from sociology to neuroscience to understand contextual factors that affect behavior and deliver programs that go beyond communication-based approaches.

We work alongside communities, organizations, and governments to ensure change efforts are locally led and people-centered. From design to evaluation, we collaborate with and support partners on adaptive strategies tailored to local contexts, cultures, and needs. The result is programs that achieve lasting change.

A healthworker in Madagascar

Behavior Initiative

JSI’s Behavior Initiative, comprising more than 90 specialists in 18 countries, is the hub for our SBC work. Our SBC expertise was strengthened in 2022 when JSI acquired The Manoff Group – a longtime partner with a 50+ year history of SBC innovation in 70 countries and a large team of leading specialists. Learn more about the Behavior Initiative in this summary, or contact Melinda McKay, director of JSI’s Behavior Initiative.

Our SBC Approach

Integrating Behavior

Behavior integration defines outcomes as specific behaviors required to achieve a development goal. It ensures that behavior is considered along with technical and operational issues in every program element and phase. The result is programs that maximize resources and have lasting results.

Measuring Change

Our experts work at the nexus of measurement and practice, improving the scientific rigor of SBC design, implementation, adaptive monitoring, and evaluation. We use data to inform decision making about behavioral prioritization, resource allocation, and program scaling. Our Think | BIG virtual resource helps SBC practitioners set objectives, track progress on behavioral outcomes, and assess and adapt programs.

Enabling and Exchanging Capacity

Sustainable change depends on the ability of systems, individuals, communities, civil society, governments, and the private sector to apply social and behavioral approaches. We use SBC sciences to strengthen capacity by enhancing knowledge and skills and addressing barriers and facilitators at all levels to affect positive change.

Innovating and Scaling

We use innovative participatory approaches to co-create equitable, actionable strategies that lead to measurable, sustained change. These approaches, including Trials of Improved Practices, human-centered design, and Reimagining Technical Assistance, offer practical ways to manage social and power dynamics; prioritize listening and reciprocity; and nurture participation, teamwork, and partnerships. We understand the pathways to scale innovations for sustainability and impact, using data to inform decision making and mobilize necessary partnerships and resources.

Advancing Gender Equity

JSI ensures that individuals of all genders, especially those in vulnerable positions, have a central role in shaping program strategies that support their health, education, and socioeconomic equity. We work with governments, civil society, and funders to shift power dynamics and transform gender norms.

Operationalizing Person-Centered Care

A person-centered approach treats people as individuals and finds out what is important to them. Our person-centered care framework guides insights into individual preferences and motivations and examines the social, system, and service delivery contexts to guide programming decisions that are most likely to yield desired outcomes.

The Behavior Effect
The Behavior Effect:
A JSI Livecast

Our Behavior Effect livecasts are one-hour events that feature experts from around the world who discuss global health and development issues related to social and behavior change. Learn more, watch previous conversations, and register for upcoming events.

Think | Big
Think | BIG
Behavior Integration Guidance

Think | BIG is a suite of tools and resources to help you apply Behavior Integration. This approach will help you to design and implement programs that define outcomes as specific behaviors required to achieve the development goal, ensuring that your strategy, project, and activity design are behavior-led, not intervention-driven.

Immunization Service Experience Toolkit
Immunization Service Experience Toolkit

This Toolkit guides country, regional, and global audiences through the components of a positive immunization service experience and how to improve service experience in the user’s contexts. Service experience plays an important role in establishing trust and confidence in the health system and influences the use of services by clients and caregivers.

Measuring SBC in Nutrition Programs
Measuring SBC in Nutrition Programs: A Guide for Evaluators

This guide supports implementing partners who are involved with conducting an evaluation of an activity that uses SBC to improve multi-sectoral nutrition outcomes. The document focuses on enhancing skills by highlighting the nuances of evaluating SBC approaches and walking through the eight steps to conduct a nutrition SBC evaluation.

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We are 90+ problem-solvers with diverse expertise spanning SBC, communication, behavioral science, anthropology, education, public health, and more.



JSI experts integrate behavioral thinking into projects around the world to explain, predict, and affect SBC and solve complex problems.



JSI can address complex global challenges because of our diverse expertise, expansive local partnerships, and full-system view.

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