4 Reasons to Use a BCD Framework to Design a Successful Behaviour Change Program!

Have you heard about Behaviour Centred Design (BCD)? BCD is a very useful framework to design successful behaviour change programs. The version we use at Tulodo is inspired by the comprehensive work done by Aunger and Curtis from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2015.

If you are a program manager or someone who is designing an intervention to change people’s behaviour, this framework really should be considered. Here are our four top reasons:

  1. A behaviour change framework is essential for real impact. When we develop an intervention, we need to understand the behaviour we are trying to change, “awareness” or “knowledge” is not enough. We need a behavioural framework that helps us identify the types of intervention that are likely to be most effective. This framework should ensure that interventions are evidence-based and have a greater likelihood of having a significant impact on behaviour. There are a lot of frameworks available, for example, Human Centered Design or the PRECEDE PROCEED model. BCD combines many elements of these. What we like about BCD is that it is simple but provides a full cycle process from a theory of change to a commercial creative process. And most importantly, it gets results.
  2. BCD is a more holistic approach.  What does it mean by ‘holistic’? It provides a comprehensive design process, with steps and tools to use in developing the study design, creating, implementing and evaluating a behaviour change program. There are four main steps in the BCD: Assess, Create, Execute, and Determine (abbreviated as ACED). 
  3. BCD creates surprise elements in the behaviour settings. BCD provides a comprehensive behavioural model that demonstrates how the disruption of behaviour settings (environment, the individual’s brain and body) are keys to behaviour change.
  4. Lots of innovative tools and techniques. BCD also provides new approaches to research, planning and management in order to better respond to the people and the context where we work. BCD uses new formative research techniques, not just the usual Focus Discussion Groups (FGDs), for example by using video ethnography, community mapping, and photovoice.

Our experience using BCD

Tulodo has used the  BCD framework in several interventions.


Working with Hamutuk partners in Timor-Leste to develop insights into program design

One example of our work using BCD is with the Hamutuk nutrition program in Timor-Leste, supported by the Partnership for Human Development (PHD) with Australian aid funding. We were commissioned for Hamutuk’s formative research, a study to explore breastfeeding, complementary feeding and WASH-related practices among households in Holarua. In addition to data collection through interviews, we conducted several mini-ethnographic case studies focused on households. In doing so, we obtained a more detailed and useful understanding of the lived experience of households related to the target behaviours. We also worked with Hamutuk partners in Timor-Le1ste to develop insights into program design. This enabled us to develop a suite of recommendations more likely to help Hamutuk succeed. The next step for Hamutuk is to decide on the interventions to improve these behaviours.

BCD helps provide you with a deeper understanding of behaviour and how to address it. If you are serious about impact in your programs or services, we highly recommend it.

Editor: Nicholas Goodwin, Yani Lauwoie

Published by

Heribertus Rinto Wibowo

A public health enthusiast, passionate about the science of health promotion, tobacco control and social determinants of health.

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