This tool sets out an approach for establishing which specific behaviours will be the focus of a pandemic communication campaign or behavioural change programme. This tool is designed to help develop more focused objectives that can be evaluated more precisely in terms of their impact on the specific behaviours. The tool can be used by practitioners to work with all stakeholders to agree what behaviours are to be targeted and amongst what target groups. This approach will drive out ambiguity and help focus the resources available on to the important behaviours and factors that affect them.
The approach set out in this tool starts by recognising that behaviour is subject to variation and is often not an isolated single action, but part of a pattern of actions over time. The approach set out in this tool starts with the development of a clear understanding of ‘what’ behaviour is occurring, and what different people know, think and feel about it. There is a tendency with traditional ‘behaviour change’ approaches to focus specifically on the ‘problem behaviour’ and what can be perceived as ‘problem people’, and to concentrate on trying to get them to change. A key consideration is to understand the range of factors that are influencing both the positive and the problematic behaviours during pandemic events. This tool should ideally be used in conjunction with the tools ‘Identifying your options’ tool and ‘Setting up your plan’.
HOW TO USE THE TOOL
This guide will help practitioners to establish clear behavioural Goals and SMART Objectives. The guide will help in the task of explicitly describing the problem being addressed in terms of specific behaviours that need to be influenced, both those behaviours that are problematic and those behaviours that are positive and need to be encouraged. This will help ensure that the methods or interventions used can be geared to addressing the specific behaviours with specific target groups.
This guide makes it clear that behavioural goals are overarching aims or statements of intent. Behavioural Objectives however are more specific and should ideally be able to be expressed in SMART form (SMART; Specific , Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) and also be expressed in terms of the focus of the objective: Cognitive (Knowledge and understanding), Affective (Emotional, beliefs and attitudes), or Psychomotor (Physical, doing, observable actions). If those planning pandemic programmes are clear about these distinctions and use them to help plan their programmes, there will be an increased chance that these programmes will be more effective.