The Designing for Behaviour Change (DBC) framework is a useful tool to help us focus on the most important factors that we need to consider when designing or reviewing a behaviour change strategy. It allows us to identify and address the barriers and motivators that influence our target group’s ability and willingness to adopt a new behaviour. We can identify them by conducting formative research, such as a Barrier Analysis study, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and observations. Once we know the barriers and motivators to a specific behaviour, we can define what our behaviour change activities need to achieve to address the barriers. As the last step, we design individual activities.

If you follow the official curriculum, training your team on how to use the DBC approach takes five days. If you also want your staff to be at ease with using Barrier Analysis, a combined DBC/BA training takes seven days (including field-based practice). However, there is no need for all your staff members to go through a seven day long training – while a limited number of your senior staff (managers, M&E staff) should participate in a full-scale training, others can just be trained on how to collect Barrier Analysis data (two days required, including field-based piloting). The best time to conduct the training is before you start designing a new project as it enables you to apply what you have learned.

The description of the DBC Framework should be included in your proposal’s methodology section, highlighting its key characteristics and benefits. Here is an example: “The project’s methodology uses the Designing for Behaviour Change (DBC) Framework, a field-tested, systematic approach for designing effective behaviour change strategies. The DBC Framework allows the user to identify the reasons why the project’s target groups are not practicing the desired behaviours and to design a behaviour change strategy that removes/reduces those barriers. To identify the barriers, the project team will conduct a formative survey involving Barrier Analysis, key informant interviews, observations, and other participatory methods engaging both women and men. The results will be used to refine and further develop the project’s behaviour change strategy, including specific sub-activities. Compared to the traditional approaches, which propose changing people’s practices by raising awareness (which in many cases is already good), the DBC Framework’s key strength lies in its ability to identify and address the real determinants of people’s behaviour as defined by those people.”