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The Innovation Process
Activity 3.4 B

Assess local behaviour change requirements

This activity will help you understand how people affected by crises, particularly the problem holders, may need to change behaviours in order to best benefit from your proposed solution.

Understanding how communities affected by crises, particularly the problem holders, may need to adapt in order to best benefit from your proposed solution is critical. Are the changes required feasible and ethical? Might they do harm?

In order for you to understand how the problem holders, and other members of the affected community may need to adapt, you will need to understand how they currently respond to the problem your solution is seeking to solve. For example, if your focus is on the provision of clean water, how do people currently access water for cooking and drinking?

In the Recognition stage you may have developed a user profile using the personas tool to represent your target user, or carried out direct observations using the AEIOU tool to get a deeper understanding of how users and/or members of the affected community respond to the problem.

If you skipped these exercises, it is worth going back to give them further consideration. But remember: it is critical that when observing or engaging in any work with members of a crisis-affected community you carry out a risk assessment.

At this point you may also want to develop a visual map of how your users or target groups engage with the solution using a storyboard, and the EAST Framework is a useful tool for harnessing insights from behavioural economics.


Lucy Kimble and Joe Julier’s Social Design Methods Menu provides intructions for developing a detailed storyboard which can be used to gain a clearer sense of what is involved in using a solution from beginning to end (see p27).

A storyboard maps each aspect of how the potential users or members of the affected community currently respond to the problem, and how you expect this to change if they use your solution. This can help indicate the types of changes or adaptations they will need to make in terms of:

  1. Their own knowledge, emotions and actions
  2. The physical things they engage with
  3. The people they engage with
  4. The organisations they engage with
  5. The assets (resources) that are required to engage with the solution

EAST Framework

If you are seeking to influence users and community members to adapt their behaviours in order to benefit from the solution, then it is worth reviewing some of the lessons that have come out of behavioural economics.

The EAST framework was developed by the Behavioural Insights Team and details four simple ways to apply behavioural insights. The framework is based on the principle that if you want to encourage a behaviour, make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely (EAST).

Use these four categories and accompanying information and guidance in the Behavioural Insights report to think through different approaches that you might take to make it easy to engage with a solution through simple messages and intiuitve processes, make it attractice with good design and strong incentives, make it social by harnessing networks, or make it timely by prompting people effectively.