The Barrier Analysis is a quantitative/qualitative survey that asks people a series of questions aimed at identifying which barriers and motivators have the biggest influence on whether they (do not) practice the given behaviour. Barrier Analysis study uses the Doer/Non-Doer methodology that consists of interviewing 45 people who already do the behaviour (Doers) and 45 people who have not yet adopted the behaviour (Non-Doers). The difference between the Doers’ and Non-Doers’ responses reveals which barriers/motivators are the most important. For example, if a large proportion of Doers believe that drinking filtered water protects their children from diarrhoea but only a few Non-Doers think so, we know that belief in the effectiveness of filtering drinking water is a factor we need to focus on. The focus of the Barrier Analysis is always on the way people perceive things, irrespective of whether we think that it is right or wrong.

The DBC Framework is a useful tool for designing behaviour change strategies. The Barrier Analysis is the main type of formative research that the DBC Framework recommends be used to understand which barriers are preventing your targeted groups from practicing the desired behaviours. The Barrier Analysis is therefore the field research step within the DBC framework. The DBC framework and the Barrier Analysis go hand in hand. 

If you have a team of six interviewers and each is able to find and interview seven to eight Doers or Non-Doers per day, data for each behaviour can be collected in two days (this does not include the time required to train interviewers, arrange logistics, travel to the target communities, etc.). However, if you are dealing with a less common behaviour or if the travel times are long, more time will be necessary. Since you are likely to want to study two to three key behaviours within a particular project, allocating one week for data collection is a realistic estimate. If your team is too small, ask colleagues from other programmes for help or hire additional interviewers. The main costs you can expect are transport, accommodation, per diems, and external staffs’ remuneration (if required).

Your project staff – not external data collectors – need to understand the behaviours that they are promoting. The process of conducting Barrier Analysis is often just as important as the results, since your staff members will also become convinced of the results by participating in the research. Therefore, plan to have your staff collect the data themselves - do not sub-contract such an important learning opportunity.

If you follow the official curriculum, the training takes four and half days, involving lots of practical exercises (incl. development of questionnaires, finding Doers and Non-Doers, interviewing techniques, data analysis, etc.). While your senior staff (e.g. M&E Officers or Project Managers) should participate in the entire training, data collectors can be trained on data collection only (it takes two days including field-based piloting). The best time to conduct training is just before you need to conduct a Barrier Analysis.

No. Collecting data through FGDs is no longer recommended because it is less precise than individual interviews.  In FGDs, respondents’ answers can be influenced by what other people say or by discomfort a respondent may feel when others hear her/ his answers.

Yes, it is possible. The Annex 8 of Behaviour Change Toolkit shares PIN’s experience with conducting Barrier Analysis by using tablets and provides useful tips that you can use. 

Barrier Analysis is usually described in the activity section of a proposal, often as a part of a larger formative research. See as an example: “After the baseline survey is completed, the project team will conduct a formative research focusing on the behaviours the project intends to promote. Its aim is to identify what is preventing the target groups from practicing the targeted behaviours (i.e. the “barriers”) and what could encourage them to adopt them (i.e. the “motivators”). The research’s primarily method will be Barrier Analysis study that asks people a series of questions aiming to identify which barriers and motivators have the biggest influence on whether they (do not) practice the targeted behaviour. The Barrier Analysis study uses the Doer/Non-Doer methodology that consists of interviewing 45 people who already do the behaviour (Doers) and 45 people who have not adopted the behaviour yet (Non-Doers). To gain additional insights, the research team will also use a combination of other qualitative methods, including key informant interviews, observations, and focus group discussions. The result of the research will be used to further develop and refine the content and strategies of the project’s behaviour change activities (by using the Designing for Behaviour Change Framework described in the Methodology section).”

Since the formative research we conduct cannot always study all the behaviours our projects intend to promote, focus on:

   - behaviours for which there is a clear (scientific) evidence that they have direct, significant impact on achieving the project’s goals (i.e. on solving the problem your project is addressing)

   - behaviours that people do not practice and you do not know why (i.e. what the barriers are)

   - behaviours that you can influence within your project’s budget and time

   - behaviours that you aim to influence at a larger scale and are therefore worth the investment

This is a common response made by respondents and a common dilemma faced by development workers. The temptation is great to start a savings and loan activities to help increase access to disposable income.  The reality is that setting up a successful savings and loan program is not easy and not always sustainable.  The other risk is that disposable income is increased, but people do not use that income to practice the behaviour. Another approach is to find sustainable ways to decrease the cost of doing the behaviour and/or to increase the target audience’s perception that doing the behaviour is beneficial enough for them to reorder their spending priorities.  This latter approach is based on the fact that people spend money (even very limited funds) on things they value and benefit from.

The important question to ask yourself to answer this question is: Does my project have enough resources (time, money, staff) to create different behaviour change strategies for each of the ‘different’ areas of my project, if the research shows different barriers/enablers? If not (which is the typical situation), then it is appropriate to conduct one Barrier Analysis study (90 interviews). However, take your sample from each of the different areas so you can capture the opinions of the different groups.   Experience from various countries has shown that for most behaviours, the barriers and enablers are often the same or similar, across ethnic and religious groups.