Introduction >

VI. Glossary


ABC – Assisting Behavior Change

Assisting Behavior Change (ABC) Action Against Hunger’s approach to developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing behavior change activities. It employs a collection of methods and practical tools grounded in psychological principles, social science theories, and scientific evidence.

Active listening

Communication technique where the listener pays close attention to the speaker, to better understand what he/she means, and remember what has been said.


Personal position, feeling, or disposition toward a behavior, thing, or topic. A question about attitude can explore if the respondent thinks or feels something is good/bad, harmful/beneficial, worthless/useful, pleasant /unpleasant or investigate his/her intention to do something.


Barrier analysis

A study to identify the most important determinants influencing behaviors of doers and non-doers through quantitative and qualitative methods. Barrier analysis (BA) and doer/non-doer are similar methodologies, but BA questionnaires assess up to 12 determinants (vs 4 for Doer/Non-doer study).


Behaviors (or practices) are observable actions carried out by individuals or groups under given circumstances, that produce measurable results.

BCC – Behaviour Change Communication

A strategic use of communication to promote adoption of recommended behaviors, based on theories and models of behavior change.

BCD – Behaviour-centred Design

An approach that combines evolutionary and environmental psychology and best marketing practice to design and test imaginative and provocative behaviour-change interventions.


DBC – Designing for Behaviour Change

A step-by-step approach to designing behaviour-change interventions using barrier analysis to analyse behavioural determinants and develop activities to influence them.


Categories of reasons why someone does or does not do a behavior. Determinants represent a person’s feelings, beliefs, or other elements within his or her environment that support or prevent the behavior.

Doer/Non-Doer Study

Doer/non-doer study is a simplified version of barrier analysis; focusing on 4 determinants influencing behaviors (versus up to 12 in Barrier analysis).


Focus Group Discussion (FGD)

Focused discussion with a small group (usually 6 to 12 people) of participants to record attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs pertinent to the issues being examined. A moderator introduces the topic and uses a prepared interview guide to lead the discussion and elicit discussion.

Formative research

Research carried out before or during the project to determine and refine the design of the project, provides accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based information in order to develop strategy and activities.


Food security and livelihoods.


HCD – Human Centered Design

An approach for designing products and services based on a set of participatory activities that help a design team involve the intended users in the creative process.


IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding)

WHO/UNICEF recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional needs, infants should receive safe and nutritionally adequate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.

Influencing Group

The group of people that most directly influence or control the action of the Priority Group with regard to a specific behaviour. The influencing group can either support or prevent the priority group from doing a behaviour.


KAP Survey

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices surveys aim to assess the level of knowledge to identify areas where information and education efforts remain to be exerted.


Understanding of a topic. Knowledge encompasses commonly shared knowledge, scientific knowledge and know-how (how to perform preventive actions).


Literature Review

A review of documents that aims to summarize what is already known about a topic and identify areas that need further investigation.



Mental health and care practices – psychosocial interventions and support to families to optimally care for vulnerable women and children.


A continuous process of data collection and analysis, which takes place as the project is being implemented. The actual progress is compared to the planned outcomes and activities, in order to identify necessary remedial actions.



See ‘Behaviour’

Priority group

Group of people expected to practice the behavior of interest. When the behaviour concerns a young child – such as being vaccinated or sleeping under a mosquito net – the mother or caregiver becomes the Priority Group.



A behavior-change approach developed for the WASH sector based on analyzing and influencing behavioural determinants related to Risk, Attitude, Norms, Ability and Self-regulation.


SBCC – Social and Behaviour Change Communication

Use of communication strategies that are based on behaviour science to positively influence knowledge, attitudes and social norms among individuals, institutions and communities.

Semi-structured Interview

A semi-structured interview is a qualitative technique for questioning that allows the interviewer to probe and pursue topics of interest in depth (rather than just “yes/no” or multiple choices questions).

Social Marketing

The use of marketing techniques to promote behaviours or use of products and services for social benefits (health and nutrition for example).

Stages of Change Model

The Stages-of-change Model explains the process of change by breaking it into 5 main steps: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance.



Trials of Improved Practices – a methodology to do participatory trials of new behaviours or techniques at household level and use the results for designing interventions.



Water, sanitation and hygiene.