USAID Water and Development Technical Brief: Social and Behavior Change for Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene


This brief is part of USAID 's Water and Development Technical Series, which provides guidance on important topics for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy.

This technical brief provides guidance on developing effective, evidence-based social and behavior change programming to achieve water security, sanitation, and hygiene development objectives. It lays out the process for developing Social and Behavior Change (SBC) programs in support of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and water resources management (WRM) objectives and provides examples of country implementation and key considerations applicable to both WASH and WRM.


  • Behavior change interventions can contribute to the success of all development results within USAID’s Water and Development Plan and should not be limited to hygiene behaviors.
  • Communication-only approaches do not result in sustained behavior change within the WASH sector. SBC programs for WASH and WRM need holistic approaches that include a suite of activities, including structural and communication interventions, to increase the likelihood of sustained change.
  • Effective behavior change programming requires a systematic process that includes in-depth analysis, detailed planning, and sufficient and appropriate human and financial resources.


Technical Brief
Publication Date
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13 pages
Population Focus