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An Openness to a New Approach Yields Big Benefits for USAID/Ghana Health Team

Rebecca Fertziger
USAID/Ghana's Health Team is approaching a pivotal time in its planning process, with most of our bilateral health activities ending in 2019.  We decided to leverage the momentum generated by this significant portfolio turnover to review the current status of our key health indicators and progress made against targeted improvements.  We also felt it was the moment to try an innovative way of viewing our work – through a behavioral lens.  We are working with ACCELERATE, a project offering an approach (Think|BIG – Behavioral Integration Guidance) tailored to the specific, practical programming and funding constraints of USAID missions. 
Think|BIG provides an innovative process enabling us to focus on behaviors, stay centered on behaviors, and end with behaviors.  It delineates a unifying framework whose application is collaborative, iterative, and flexible as well as adaptable to our contextual needs.
Using the Think|BIG, we have designed a behaviorally-focused five-year health sub-strategy, which is changing the way we look at and understand our work and will in turn result in different activities and significant behavioral outcomes.  This new way of thinking for us will also allow us to better guide, manage and coordinate our implementing partners and pull them together under a common umbrella, all accountable for the same behavioral outcomes.

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