The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the critical role of behavior change strategies and public health communication

The public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has depended on public support to improve efficient uptake of interventions and adherence to public health guidance (e.g., masking, stay-at-home orders, vaccination). The mixed response to these efforts calls into question how public health strategies influence health behaviors overall and among communities of focus, such as rural or under-served populations. The public health policy and communication response to the COVID-19 pandemic lacked integration of behavior change and social sciences, which resulted in:

  • heterogeneous policies (Hamad 2022)
  • communication of inaccurate information and a resultant infodemic (WHO 2020)
  • erosion of trust in government and public health responses (Nasciemento 2022)

Therefore, evaluation of behavior change strategies, including – but not limited to – how public health communication is delivered and received, is needed to improve adherence to recommendations, policies, and uptake of pandemic-related interventions.

To bolster California's collective readiness for responding to future public health threats, in early 2023, CPR³ released an RFP calling for research related to behavior change strategies to improve relevance, acceptance, and uptake of pandemic-related recommendations, policies and interventions, including public health communication approaches. 

Awarded projects will be announced soon. Register to receive updates on awarded projects and other news.

Download Closed Behavior Change & Communication RFP