If you look at the solutions to the most pressing global problems, such as climate change, poverty or gender inequality, you will see that they have one thing in common: they rely on someone doing something differently. People switching to more efficient sources of energy. Farmers adopting more effective agronomic practices. Men taking on responsibilities for household chores. Politicians supporting more favourable policy environment. Whatever social or environmental challenge you want to tackle, behaviour change is likely to be at its core.
The single best way of enabling people to adopt positive behaviours is to understand and address the factors that: 1) prevent them from adopting these behaviours, and those that: 2) motivate them to adopt the behaviours. The more you understand people’s perceptions and practices, the more effective your behaviour change intervention is likely to be. This website offers several research methods that help you to understand peoples’ behaviours.
The only one who can actually change a person’s behaviour is the person himself/ herself, not a relief or development organization. The role of such organizations is to enable people to practice those behaviours that are proven to effectively address the given problems and are supported by the key stakeholders. With the exception of serious risk or harm-inducing behaviours (such as violence against women), the choice of whether a person will (not) practice the promoted behaviour is ultimately his/ her own free will.
There are several easy steps you can take to learn more about behaviour change:
watch a brief video about the main behaviour change myths
read our practical Behaviour Change Toolkit
explore the Resource section of this website
ask your colleagues to go through these resources and then together discuss how you can use the know-how they offer