ABC (Assisting Behaviour Change)
Assisting Behaviour Change.
The ABC approach was developed by Action Against Hunger to address weaknesses in programmes that focused heavily on awareness raising, education, addressing barriers and optimising enablers as a way of encouraging
WASH, Nutrition & Health, Care Practices, Food Security & Livelihoods, Disaster Risk Reduction.
Focus within the process
ABC is organised in 10 steps that cover all stages of the process, with a strong focus on formative research. It presents a range of behaviour-change activities, but does not provide detailed guidance on designing an intervention based on these activities or on developing other activities.
ABC takes an open and flexible approach to behaviour change, based on a strong foundation of theory. It’s not a recipe for designing a behaviour-change intervention, but an overall process with tools and resources that can be adapted to different contexts and behavioural challenges. The approach is based on a philosophy of assisting and accompanying change through participatory analysis, design and implementation. Behaviour-change activities are presented as an integrated aspect of AAH’s interventions, and not as a separate component or a stand-alone project.
Supporting BC theories
Health Belief Model // Protection Motivation Theory // Theory of Reasoned Action // Stages of Change Model // Social Psychology Models.
The time required for completing the ABC process is variable. The formative-research (analysis) component may take from 4 to 6 weeks. The design process may take another week.
The approach can be managed overall by a project manager, but requires someone with social-science research skills to design and carry out the formative research in the analysis phase and to support development of behaviour-change activities in the design phase. These activities can then be managed by dedicated staff within the project or programme. Some activities, such as mass-media productions, may need to be contracted out to specialists.
There are no specific training materials provided in the ABC approach. Barrier analysis is frequently a key tool for formative research. Barrier-analysis training is available.
English and French.
Case studies and examples
Specific case studies or examples have not been included.
|Analysis of way of life and current practices
|Develop an understanding of the context and the reference points of the population, Identify current practices, the meaning of these practices, and their consequences on the community and on individuals’ lives.
|Analysis of community perception of the problem
|Determine how people perceive what we consider to be the problem, whether it is perceived as a problem or just as a new event, and whether it is perceived as a temporary or a lasting event.
|Analysis of causal attribution
|Identify and analyse the causes attributed to the problem. Determine whether the causes are considered by people to be internal or external. Identify what explanations and meanings are given to these causes by different people in the population.
|Analysis of change phase
|Identify if the population is already in a process of change and, if so, at which stage they are and who / what resources may be involved in facilitating the change process.
|Analysis of behaviour and its determinants
|Use an appropriate behaviour-change model, or models, to identify and analyse the various factors that influence the behaviour.
|Analysis of barriers, benefits and resources for BC process
|Describe the barriers (practical, social, cultural, psychological etc.) identified by people that are an obstacle to the process of change. Identify the benefits of change already perceived. Determine the groups and the change factors that can facilitate the process. Establish what is known about the benefits and barriers.
Design the programme, taking into consideration the data collected in the analysis phase: approach and activities.
|Support the process of change
|Adapt the intervention according to the population's progression through the stages of change (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance).
|Sustaining behaviour change – ritualization
|Support the maintenance of new behaviours by ensuring they become established within existing cultural and traditional values. Ensure a phase of transition and ritualization to maintain BC. Plan and establish a (self) monitoring system.
|Evaluation of the BC process
|Evaluate the behaviour-change process and the changed behaviour, with suitable indicators and measurement processes.
- ABC – Assisting Behaviour Change Part 1: Theories and models, Action Against Hunger, 2013.
- ABC – Assisting Behaviour Change Part 2: Practical ideas and techniques, Action Against Hunger, 2013.
- Formative research for Assisting Behavior Change: A practical guide for field workers, Action Against Hunger, 2018.