Peta Wellstead February 6, 2006

One of the reasons I became attracted to CBSM as a strategy for behaviour change was that it was actually interested in behaviour change through a staged process. I am concerned that on the list we are hearing a lot about programmes and initiatives professionals are undertaking to encourage behaviour change, but very little about evaluation of campaigns and measurement of actual change over time - that is what is happening in our target audience. For instance it may be great to have freebies to give away (and people love them), but what happens to these, do they change behaviour, and how are people prompted to continue with that change after the initial enthusiasm is waning. Also things like media campaigns - it always worth remembering that the literature shows clearly that media campaigns do not change behaviour (at best they change some attitudes). We continue to get funds to run them because it seems that they 'should' work (and give exposure to politicians) and then no evaluation is undertaken to see if change has occurred, and if it is sustained. While a Key Performance Indicator for programmes may be "inform the public" (with a range of strategies to achieve that) information (and products which accompany it) is not change. Information is information and it is what people do with it that is important. A behaviour change case study worthy of comparison is the QUIT campaign run by the Western Australian Health Department. When the campaign began just over 30 years ago 51% of Western Australian smoked, now 17% still do. The campaign has been broad, prompts have been multi focused, it involves carrot and stick both at the personal and legislative level, it is community wide and has been very very expensive. Obviously the achievements have been considerable but not universal. I guess the jury is still out on whether we have 30 years to achieve similar environmental goals but if CBSM is going to work then all the steps involved in it must be part of the campaigns. It would be great to hear more about measurable change, and the steps taken to do that.

Kind regards
Peta Wellstead

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