Designing for Behavior Change: For Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Health and Nutrition

Date of Design: 
2004. Updated 2006
AED & CORE Group
Contact Institution: 
Pathway Component: 
Caring Capacity & Practices, Diet, Food Expenditure, Health Care


Brief Description: The BEHAVE framework enables staff to change the way they approach strategic planning for behavior change. The framework serves as a fairly simple means to lay out the complex decision-making that must go into project design for behavior change.

Uses: The purpose of the BEHAVE framework is to strengthen the strategic thinking that goes into project design, research, monitoring, and evaluation. BEHAVE employs easy-to-use tools based on principles of behavioral science to make four strategic decisions:

  1. Who are the primary target groups that should be reached for BCC (given behaviors to be promoted)?
  2. What actions should be taken to change behavior?
  3. What key factors or determinants are most likely to motivate the target group to adopt that behavior?
  4. What activities can the project conduct to influence the key factors and the behavior? 

Tool Components: The BEHAVE framework is a one-page document. The BEHAVE Framework Facilitator’s Guide provides all technical and logistical details required for a five-day training workshop.


Number of Staff Required: Applying the BEHAVE framework to program design does not require many staff and a precise number is not specified. The workshop to train staff on proper use of the framework can vary in size, but plan for at least one facilitator per 15 participants. 

Time: Applying the framework is part of normal project design as the tool is focused on strengthening strategic thinking. The workshop to train staff on proper use of the framework is five days. 

Cost of Assessment: Not specified, but using the framework in project design should not be associated with additional costs. 

Training: A five-day workshop is recommended to give staff the skills and tools to apply a behavioral approach to designing child survival projects. A workshop facilitator should have training skills and experience using the BEHAVE framework to design projects.

Geographic Targeting: The BEHAVE framework is intended to be applied to project design at community level.

Type of Data Collection: The framework guides thinking and planning, not specific data collection. 

Degree of Technical Difficulty: The guide is designed for people who have some experience in social and behavior change communication and are interested in learning a new technique. Trainees need not know much about social and behavior change, but it is helpful if they have basic experience developing questionnaires and conducting interviews. 

Complements other Resources: National-level data such as demographic and health surveys and local Knowledge, Practice, and Coverage studies may be useful complement.

This summary is part of a larger resource called the Context Assessment Tool Locator.