Photo provided by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

In 2017, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs launched a five-year, $300 million project, Breakthrough ACTION. 

Since its launch, the social and behavior change project has worked in 42 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

This week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the center $204 million to extend the project through July 2025. 

Breakthrough ACTION aims to promote healthy behaviors, such as using modern contraceptives and being tested for HIV.

“The extension is testament to the excellent work of the Breakthrough ACTION team on COVID-19, Zika, Ebola, and other emerging public health issues, in addition to reflecting the need for continued and substantial investments in social and behavior change,” said Susan Krenn, CCP’s executive director, in a statement. 

Since the start of COVID-19, the project has added nearly $34 million in new work in 22 countries to help promote healthy behaviors to slow the spread of the virus. 

The program reaches over 118 million people monthly with COVID-19 prevention and vaccination information. 

Breakthrough ACTION utilizes a human-centered approach to address topics such as democracy and governance, maternal health, family planning, education, and HIV and AIDS. 

It uses communication strategies like mass media, community outreach, and social media campaigns to drive change. 

The program is run in collaboration with Save the Children, ThinkPlace, ideas42, Camber Collective, International Center for Research on Women, and Viamo.