Influencing Behaviours and Practices to Tackle Poverty and Injustice

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Effective behaviour change strategies can play a vital role in combating poverty, injustice and environmental degradation. They can help prevent violence against women and girls; enable better health, hygiene and environmental behaviours; motivate and empower people to participate in campaigns or to become change makers; or influence people to make more equitable, ethical or sustainable purchasing and investment decisions. There is growing understanding among civil society organizations, governments and others about how to enable behaviour change, but many interventions still rely too much on information provision and awareness raising.

This discussion paper draws on learning from theory and practice to provide practitioners with an understanding of the range of influences that shape different behaviours at individual, group, societal and system levels. It suggests a menu of possible interventions to address them, and highlights the need for resources and skill-building. It will be relevant for practitioners involved in programming, humanitarian, influencing and campaigning work, as well as for government officials and donors.