Approaches >


Full name

Risk, Attitude, Norms, Ability, Self-regulation.


The Environmental and Health Psychology group at Eawag (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Helvetas (Swiss Intercooperation). It has similarities with other approaches based on a framework of determinants, such as DBC and FOAM.

Sector/behaviour focus

RANAS was originally developed for behaviour change in the WASH sector, but could be applied to other sectors and behaviour types using the same logic and methodology.

Focus within the process

All phases:

  1. Identify potential behavioural factors;
  2. Measure the behavioural factors identified and determine those steering the behaviour;
  3. Select corresponding behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and develop appropriate behaviour change strategies;
  4. Implement and evaluate the behaviour change strategies.

What’s special

RANAS takes a highly systematic approach to the process of analysis, design and implementation of behaviour-change interventions. It uses qualitative and quantitative research methods for identifying and measuring behavioural determinants in five blocks:

  • Risk factors – a person’s understanding and awareness of the health risk;
  • Attitude factors – a person’s positive or negative stance towards a behaviour;
  • Norm factors – the perceived social pressure to perform a behaviour;
  • Ability factors – represent a person’s confidence in her or his ability to practice a behaviour;
  • Self-regulation factors – influence a person’s attempts to plan and self-monitor a behaviour over time and to manage conflicting goals and distracting cues.

RANAS also offers a catalogue of behaviour-change techniques designed to address each of the behavioural determinants measured. These activities include providing infrastructure, facilitating access to resources and providing prompts in the environment, as well as a range of interpersonal and mass-media communication techniques. RANAS gives strong attention to the question of evaluating interventions, so that they may be replicated or scaled up effectively on strong evidence.

Supporting BC theories

Environmental and health psychology, including Health belief model // Health action process approach // Theory of planned behaviour.

Time required

4 to 6 weeks.

Expertise required

No specialist expertise required, but the process should be managed by a person with good knowledge of the RANAS approach, and the research implemented by staff with skills in qualitative and quantitative research. Programme staff with general expertise in their sector should be able to choose and implement the set of behaviour-change techniques that make up the behaviour-change strategy.

Training materials

The Behavior Change Manual (HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, 2017) includes training materials to introduce behaviour change and the RANAS appoach (Annex 2), a step-by-step presentation, with guided activities, to take a team through the RANAS process (Annex 3) and guidance for a training workshop for survey interviewers (Annex 7).


English, with some documents in French.

Case studies and examples

Ranas Mosler presents examples of application of RANAS to a range of WaSH-related behaviours. The ‘RANAS’ page contains case studies on promoting handwashing in Zimbabwe and safe drinking-water in Bangladesh. The ‘News’ tab presents more illustrations of RANAS in practice, including videos.



PHASE 1: Identify potential behavioral factorsFirst, the exact behavior to be changed and the specific population group to be targeted are defined; we specify who exactly should change which behavior. Then, we collect information on behavioral factors, namely psychosocial and contextual factors that might influence the target behavior. Psychosocial factors are elements in the mindset of a person (such as knowledge, beliefs, and emotions), whereas context factors are elements outside of a person (e.g. distance to a safe well). These factors can be learned by conducting short qualitative interviews with various stakeholders at different levels, including the target population.
Following this, the potential psychosocial and contextual factors that we have identified are allocated to the RANAS psychosocial factors summarized in the RANAS model of behavior change. This may involve adapting and extending the model.
PHASE 2: Measure the behavioural factors and determine those steering the behaviourFirst, we develop a questionnaire to measure the behaviour and the potential behavioural factors and a protocol to conduct observations of the target behaviour. Template tools have been designed for questionnaires and observation protocols, and these have to be adapted to the local conditions.
A doer/non-doer analysis is conducted to identify the behavioural factors steering the target behaviour. This means that the responses of people who do the behaviour (doers) are compared to the responses of those who do not (nondoers); a large difference in the responses between doers and non-doers shows that the behavioural factor in question critically steers the behaviour and thus can be addressed through behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to change the behaviour.


PHASE 3: Select BCTs and develop appropriate behaviour change strategiesThe BCTs that are thought to change the critical behavioural factors specified in Phase 2 are selected for application in behaviour change strategies. A catalogue of BCTs has been compiled to achieve this. The catalogue lists which BCTs are thought to change which psychosocial factor, based on evidence from environmental and health psychology. The BCTs have to be adapted to the local context and combined with suitable communication channels, which constitute the mode of delivery of the BCTs. Together, the BCTs and the communication channels form a behaviour change strategy.

Implementation, monitoring and evaluation

PHASE 4: Implement and evaluate the behaviour change strategiesTo verify the efficacy of these behaviour change strategies and to optimize them, the strategies are evaluated with a before-after control (BAC) trial. This means that the behaviour and the potential behavioural factors are measured with a questionnaire and with observations both before (Phase 2) and after (Phase 4) implementing the strategies. Further, a control group has to be formed and measured. This is to control for changes in behaviour which occurred independently of the intervention.
The differences in behaviour scores and in behavioural factor scores before and after the strategies’ implementation are calculated and compared to those of the control group. The behaviour change strategies have been effective when the before-after differences in behaviour and behavioural factors are larger for the population that received the strategies than for the control group. The strategies can be refined if needed. Otherwise, they can be applied directly at larger scales or in other, similar areas, backed up by the evidence that they are effective in changing behaviour.