It was a privilege to present in front of a full room at AES 2017! Who knew so many people were interested in behaviour change! Slides from the presentation are here.

Behaviour change interventions undertake activities to bring about change. So how should we select what activities to undertake to influence behaviour change? Should activities be based on what we have been done before? What we are good at? Based on an idea about what works? Based on research about the target group?

I first became interested in behaviour change over a decade ago, when I learnt about Community-Based Social Marketing. I realised that behaviour change went beyond communication and education and incentives. Voluntary change requires research to identify the barriers and drivers that may hinder or enable change.  These differ between target groups, which means that context is critical.

A Theory of Action refers to the type of strategy to activate the desired change. Project designs are more likely to lead to the desired change if the Theory of Action(s) are based on an understanding of barriers and drivers to change, and selection of activities to bring about change.

There are lots of resources available on behaviour change. Here are some I have found useful:

Community-Based Social Marketing - this website provides a practical guide on the steps to take to develop a behaviour change project. Dr Doug McKenzie-Mohr is offering training workshops in Melbourne and Brisbane in March 2018.

DEFRA’s 4Es model - Enable, Encourage, Exemplify, Engage provide four broad Theories of Action that can be applied to activate the change that is desired.

GSK Review – this document provides an overview of behaviour change models, theories and frameworks that can be used to inform Theories of Actions. 

Are you working in this space to design, implement or evaluate behaviour change programs? Please share your thoughts or any useful resources.

Damien Sweeney