A transdisciplinary conceptual framework to understand behavior change in development interventions

By Lambe F., Ran Y., Jürisoo M., Holmlid S., Muhoza C., Johnson O. and

Osborne M.

Many interventions that aim to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people in low-income settings fail because the behavior of the people intended to benefit is not well understood and /or not reflected in the design of interventions. Methods for understanding and situating human behavior in the context of development interventions tend to emphasize experimental approaches to objectively isolate key drivers of behavior. However, such methods often do not account for the importance of contextual factors and the wider system. In this paper we propose a conceptual framework to support intervention design that links behavioral insights with service design, a branch of the creative field of design. To develop the framework, we use three case studies conducted in Kenya and Zambia focusing on the uptake of new technologies and services by individuals and households. We demonstrate how the framework can be useful for mapping individuals’ experiences of a new technology or service and, based on this, identify key parameters to support lasting behavior change. The framework reflects how behavior change takes place in the context of complex social-ecological systems – that change over time, and in which a diverse range of actors operate at different levels – with the aim of supporting the design and delivery of more robust development-oriented interventions.

Read the full article here: doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104703.