New report on use of behaviour change in clean cooking interventions for economic, health and environmental impact

Front coverA new report (available below) from a team led by Tulodo’s Nick Goodwin has found promising evidence for the effectiveness of behaviour change approaches in clean cooking interventions. Despite decades of effort, around 2.8 billion people still rely on solid fuels to meet domestic energy needs. There is robust evidence this causes premature death, chronic disease as well as wider economic, social and environmental problems. There is a growing body of evidence that behaviour change interventions are effective to reduce harm from unsafe and dirty cooking practices such as household air pollution and loss of forests.

The project reviewed the use and effectiveness of behaviour change approaches in cleaner cooking interventions in resource-poor settings. The authors synthesised evidence of the use of behaviour change techniques (BCTs), along the cleaner cooking value chain, to bring positive health, economic and environmental impacts and outcomes. 48 articles met the inclusion criteria, which documented 55 interventions carried out in 20 countries. A scorecard of behaviour change effectiveness was developed as part of deeper analysis of a selection of case study projects. Although behaviour change approaches have a strong track record, more application and evaluations are needed to establish stronger evidence for their use in cleaner cooking interventions.

NB: The report was funded by DFID and the full reference is: ‘Goodwin, N.J., O’Farrell, S.E., Jagoe, K., Rouse, J., Roma, E., Biran, A., & Finkelstein, E.A. (2014), The Use of Behaviour Change Techniques in Clean Cooking Interventions to Achieve Health, Economic and Environmental Impact: A review of the evidence and scorecard of effectiveness, HED Consulting, London.’

Clean Cooking Behaviour Change Study – Full Report

Executive Summary

Main Report


Appendix D – Case Studies

Appendix E – Scorecard of Behaviour Change Effectiveness

Appendix G – Full List of Interventions

Change agents make residents feel safer about dengue fever in the Philippines

Barangay Health Worker, PhilippinesResearch by Fe Espino at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on dengue prevention in the Philippines shows how community trust is vital to the success of behaviour change programs. In 2010, the number of dengue cases in the Philippines rose from 37,101 in 2006 to 118,868. Dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes which are born in still water. Due to water shortages, households are forced to store water throughout the year. Espino’s research team engaged the local Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) to introduce a household water container management system to control dengue in 2 communities in Massagna City in metro Manila.

In both village ‘A’ and ‘B’, BHWs were trained to teach households to inspect water containers for immature mosquitoes. An instructional guide was provided along with a container management checklist, collected during monthly visits. The team also provided a video of dengue control techniques. Village A, however, encountered many problems and there was a poor response to the program. In Village B participants reported not only that the visits made residents more aware of dengue control, but they were more inclined to take action. Although behaviour change results have not yet been reported, it appears the difference is that the BHWs in Village B were more active and more trusted by the community. This shows that when engaging change agents, it’s important to understand both how the community feels about them and how they feel about their community.

Change agents at the USF Social Marketing Conference

IMG_0532Tulodo’s Nick Goodwin and Irma Martam attended the recent Social Marketing Conference, hosted by the University of South Florida. Irma was the recipient of the conference’s prestigious Fostering Equity Scholarship and attended the pre-conference Training Academy with social marketing practitioners and researchers from around the world.

Nick’s plenary presentation focused on the use of change agents – including community health workers, peer educators, opinion leaders and sales agents – in social and behaviour change programs. Change agents can remove barriers to change and increase the rate of the diffusion of new behaviours. Different to traditional top-down approaches, the use of change agents can make social marketing more personal and enhance empowerment and capacity building. Engaging change agents can promote and support individuals who assume responsibility for community improvement, seek new knowledge and skills, and actively engage and recruit others. Mobile and social technologies open up new ways to engage change agents, enabling mass personalisation and scaling up impact. Nick’s presentation drew upon Tulodo’s latest work and his research, including in Indonesia on health programs; globally on clean cooking interventions; and on alcohol harm initiatives in Australia.

Corporate behaviour change: Greenpeace takes on Procter & Gamble over commitment to mothers

With all the discussion on nonprofit partnerships with the private sector, a Greenpeace campaign on Procter & Gamble reminds us that the corporation can also be the target of behaviour change campaigns. You may be familiar with P&G’s wildly popular video ‘’Thank You Mom’’, released for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Greenpeace has released a provocative spoof, “Hidden Truth“. While P&G were advertising their support for mothers, the devastating Greenpeace video shows how deforestation is orphaning many orangutan in Indonesia.

According to Greenpeace, companies like P&G can be linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest to enable development of palm oil plantations. P&G buys palm oil to make personal care products like ‘Head n Shoulders’ shampoo. Destruction of their rainforest habitat in Indonesia endangers the orangutan. Indonesia loses forest at rate of more than nine Olympic swimming pools every minute with forest destruction for palm oil as the biggest driver. Greenpeace is pushing P&G to make a ‘No Deforestation’ commitment and to use only forest friendly palm oil. Both films use emotion to powerful effect, it’s up to the viewer to decide what action to take.

Share It to End It: Singapore bullying film shortens each time it is shared

Share-it-to-end-it-slider-1024x3321An innovative approach to video sharing is engaging viewers in Singapore to reduce bullying. Singapore’s CABCY (Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth) together with the Harvest Centre for Research conducted nationwide research on bullying in Singapore in 2006. Data was collected from more than 4,000 students aged 7 to 16 years old and the results were surprising — around 94.7% responded that they had experienced bullying at least once. This finding helped break the silence of victims and became an insight for a new campaign.

The CABCY engaged agencies JWT and XM Asia to make a short film that brings a message to stop bullying. The innovative aspect is that the film gets shorter by a millisecond each time it is shared on Facebook and will disappear altogether after 100,000 shares. The effect is meant to represent ending the victims’ misery. At the time of writing the film has been shared over 33,000 times, reducing playing time by 33%. Once the film is wiped out, only the last frame will remain, which people can still share on Facebook, encouraging them to continue the conversation. This campaign provokes discussion of how bad the impact of bullying is for Singapore’s children and young people. It also reminds us that victims are often too afraid to share. The effectiveness of the campaign could be even greater if viewers are supported to take concrete actions as awareness is not enough to change behaviour.

Nurse Nicole gives good advice to flirty men on Tinder

Nurse Nicole - matches for men's healthJune is Men’s Health Month in the US and to celebrate its 20th anniversary, we bring you the story of a creative way to change men’s health behaviours. According to the Men’s Health Resource Center, men are more likely to go long periods of time without going to the doctor, they’re less likely to adopt preventive health measures, and are more likely to engage in risky behaviours.

Two interns in New York — Vince Mak and Colby Spear — set up a fake profile in the popular dating app Tinder as part of their Matches For Men’s Health project. They created an account for “Nicole”, a pretty 28 year old nurse from New York, to attract men and engage them in conversations on their health. Nicole’s pretty profile picture lured many men to initiate conversations, even flirting (and worse) with her. Nurse Nicole politely provides advice on health issues and reminds Tinder users that June is Men’s Health Month. The response has been mixed, some have showed genuine enthusiasm but others have ignored the advice. This is a creative approach by marketing in the right ‘place’ (one of the four Ps of marketing). However, tricking people into behaviour change might be problematic. Further testing will reveal the results so stayed tuned.

Are smartphones…”better”…for the environment?

PhonebloksMobile phones and other smart devices are helping us solve major public policy problems by providing direct personalised access to information. However according to the UNEP, the amount of e-waste being produced – including mobile phones and computers – could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade in some countries. In the making of computer equipment a lot of plastics, metals, chemicals and packaging are used. And our use of these products requires power and produces electronic waste.

Some companies are responding the call to help prevent e-waste get out of control. Apple has launched “Better”, a short video narrated by CEO Tim Cook promoting the company’s efforts to reduce the impact of its business practices on the environment. For example, over the years Apple has reduced the amount of power their computers use. In 1998 the original iMac used 35w of energy in sleep mode. Now the latest model only uses 0.9w. Apple uses more environmentally friendly materials, including mercury free displays, PVC free power cords, arsenic free glass and lead free solder. Items like iTunes Gift cards and iPhoto products use recycled or at least recyclable material.

Other efforts to deal with the e-waste problem include the Phonebloks initiative to build a modular smartphone. This means broken or old parts can be replaced one-by-one rather than buying a whole new phone. Although these are important advances, companies will need to work with governments to support these technologies with behaviour change programs. This includes convincing people to recycle and making sure they have the facilities to do so.