MSD competency A3

Behavioural insight

Identify what drives behaviour at an individual level

MSD competencies

Competency definition

Practitioners understand and can perceive an individual’s behaviour through multiple lenses. They take into consideration such factors as: level of skills and education; financial incentives; social pressures and cultural norms; role models; values, beliefs and aspirations; risks, rewards and penalties.

Knowledge areas

Practitioners with this competency will be knowledgeable about concepts and ideas described and explored in the following resources...

Skills and experience

Practitioners with this competency will have acquired qualifications, skills and practical experience that may include:

  • development of advertising or marketing campaigns, especially public service announcements targeted at behaviour
  • conducting social research or anthropological studies that targeted decision-making and behaviour

Guidance for teaching this competency

Research assignment
Ask practitioners to interview people in a given sector or community. They should identify key behaviours and the driving forces behind them. Push practitioners to identify multiple factors that drive behaviour.

Facilitated discussion
Ask practitioners to self-reflect on everyday behaviours they exhibit and map out why they make the choices they do. Unearth how there are multiple factors that may influence behaviour. These might include incentives, personal values, beliefs, cultural norms and role models.

Coaching & mentoring advice

  • Ask staff to frame their interventions with partners in terms of behaviour. Ask them to identify specifically the drivers of behaviour change that their interventions are targeting. Push staff to design interventions that target multiple drivers of behaviour change.
  • Encourage staff to deepen their understanding of the cultural and social forces in the programme’s operating area. Facilitate discussions on how they affect the behaviours of local leaders and organisations.

Guidance for assessing this competency

Presentation of case analysis
Probe for understanding of why individuals or organisations make choices. Probe for an ability to see multiple reasons for behaviour, including social and cultural pressures, rather than just financial. Assess for ability to design interventions that target behaviour change from multiple angles.

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