Social and Behavior Change Technical Advisor

Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (CCP)


Breakthrough ACTION Zambia is part of a global cooperative agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) to lead social and behavior change (SBC) programming around the world. The project works in partnership with governments, civil society, communities, and other stakeholders to implement creative, evidence-based SBC programming.

Breakthrough ACTION Zambia will work through a collaborative multi-sectoral approach with the Ministries of Health, Wildlife Services, Environment, Agriculture and other key One Health stakeholders to build country risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) capacity as part of broader efforts to strengthen implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The GHSA is a multilateral and multi-sectoral initiative of over 60 countries to enhance capacities to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats and achieve measurable targets.  GHSA is intended to accelerate target country progress toward implementation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) International Health Regulations (IHR) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS). RCCE is one of the key capacities identified in the IHR.

Breakthrough ACTION Zambia will work to strengthen the RCCE capacity of Zambian institutions to effectively address high risk behaviors associated with priority zoonotic diseases and mitigate the impact of future public health events. This will be accomplished through the coordinated use of a range of communication channels and approaches grounded in behavioral theory; informed by research and programmatic experience; and designed and implemented following a systematic and proven process to achieve individual and collective behavior change.

The period of performance for the program in Zambia is projected to begin immediately and end in April 2025. Breakthrough ACTION is seeking an SBC Technical Advisor to lead the development and implementation of the GHS RCCE program.

Job Summary

Working under the supervision of the Senior Country Manager and with support from technical staff at CCP, the SBC Technical Advisor will lead the  echnical and programmatic components of the Breakthrough ACTION program and provide management support.  They will lead coordination and implementation of activities, supervise program staff, and demonstrate social and behavior change technical skills, with an initial focus on Global Health Security, One Health, and/or risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) for zoonotic diseases. They will ensure integration of effective SBC and RCCE approaches to reach project goals and deliverables as required that may include:

  • Utilizing high-quality data to inform RCCE programming for priority zoonotic diseases;
  • Strengthening the capacity of and coordinating with the Government of Zambia and key partners to design, implement, and monitor high-quality RCCE activities focused on priority zoonotic diseases;
  • Developing RCCE approaches to address national and sub-national RCCE priorities;
  • Working through recognized structures within the One Health and or emergency response platforms; and
  • Overseeing programmatic and technical approach for all project areas, including other technical areas, as may be needed.

This position is directly accountable for the SBC Technical components of the program and will serve as the point of contact for the GHSA portfolio, holding responsibility for establishing and maintaining strong relationships with USAID, the Government of Zambia stakeholders, and relevant GHSA and One Health partners.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks 

Technical Leadership

  • Provide technical, strategic and managerial direction for Breakthrough ACTION Zambia
  • Lead and manage technical work independently, including leading technical activities such as trainings, workshops, and meetings
  • Oversee the design, implementation and monitoring of Breakthrough ACTION’s SBC/RCCE activities
  • Conceptualize, design, and lead the development of SBC/RCCE strategies, tools and trainings
  • Demonstrate technical expertise in relevant technical areas (i.e., SBC, knowledge management, health areas related to the Global Health Security Agenda/RCCE, etc.) and stay abreast of technical updates
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) team to translate research findings into programmatic recommendations
  • In collaboration with the MERL team, contribute to design and implementation of MERL plans and activities
  • Lead shifts in approach as needed based on monitoring data
  • Demonstrate high level technical communication, including writing reports, creating and giving presentations, and facilitating meetings or group discussions

Management and Oversight

  • Ensure timely activity implementation in accordance with the work plan
  • Monitor and ensure all SBC activities are documented and reported on a regular basis
  • Monitor budget and manage spending in accordance with Johns Hopkins University policies, USAID rules and regulations, and Government of Zambia and make budgetary decisions according to strategic priorities
  • Comply with USAID, Johns Hopkins University and Breakthrough-ACTION processes and regulations
  • Seek, select, engage, and monitor qualified consultants and agencies to provide technical assistance in support of the project
  • Recommend processes and mechanisms to improve efficiency and impact
  • Operate with compliance to all JHU supervisory policy.
  • Effectively manage project resources
  • Conduct any other relevant duties as assigned by the Senior Country Manager

Partnership and Coordination

  • Represent CCP and Breakthrough ACTION at relevant external meetings and events
    • May include delivering technical presentations, networking, and relationship building
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with USAID, Government of Zambia, relevant stakeholders, and GHSA and One Health partners at national and sub-national levels
  • Respond to USAID requests related to progress against targets and provide programmatically relevant information in a timely fashion
  • Ensure SBC/RCCE activities are implemented in coordination with relevant stakeholders and partners at all levels

Capacity Strengthening and training

  • Support and strengthen the capacity of partners and existing structures to design and implement SBC/RCCE activities
  • Supervise staff as required
    • Orient and train new staff member
    • Conduct regular and at least quarterly check ins and annual performance reviews with all supervisees
    • Identify and recommend appropriate professional development opportunities for supervisees
    • Provide coaching and mentoring to promote continued growth and improvement among supervisees
    • Oversee and ensure the quality of work produced by staff or team
    • Operate with compliance to all JHU supervisory policy
  • Facilitate training workshops, including developing necessary agendas, curricula, manuals, and material
  • Carry out field visits as needed
  •  Request or initiate, at the start of the project biweekly, then monthly and quarterly check-in meetings with supervisor to assess performance, strengths and areas for improvement in your current position, and establish professional goals

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree, additional relevant experience and/or training may substitute for education
  • Five years of related experience in SBC
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities
  • Excellent past performance references

Preferred Qualifications 

  • A technical expert with an advanced degree in public health, communication, social sciences or field relevant to advancing Global Health Security and One Health, including within the animal health, wildlife, or agriculture sector
  • Demonstrated experience with Global Health Security, RCCE, One Health, and/or experience in emergency response
  • Oral and written fluency in English
  • Zambian national

Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Demonstrated leadership qualities, depth and breadth of management expertise and technical experience
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • High level of interpersonal, technical, and analytical skills, including a demonstrated ability to interact effectively and collaboratively with a broad range of multisectoral counterparts and stakeholders
  • Excellent skills and experience in collaborative working relationships with senior level government leadership

How to Apply

All candidates are encouraged to submit e-mail applications with cover letter, current CV, and three professional referees to:

<[email protected]>

Please indicate which position you are applying for in the subject line of the email.

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