The behaviour change framework
Explanation of the framework graphic: The behaviour change framework is represented as a wheel to demonstrate that behaviour change is a process and there is an interrelationship between the system factors that influence people’s capability, opportunity, and motivation to change.
To maximise the value of our investments and achieve the transport outcomes, a coordinated and sequenced suite of interventions are required across all five categories.
The inner circle of the framework represents three elements that are necessary for individual or business behaviour change. It is important to identify how each of the five categories of factors impact on people’s opportunity, capability, and motivation to change:
- An individual must have the capability to change:
- They have the physical ability to perform the desired behaviour.
- They have the psychological and technical skills required to perform the desired behaviour.
- An individual must have the opportunity to change:
- A person’s physical environment means that there are the services and infrastructure available to allow them to change.
- A person’s social environment means that relevant social and cultural norms support the behaviour, and it is viewed as socially acceptable or desirable.
- An individual needs to be motivated to change or more motivated to perform the desired behaviour over their current behaviour or over an alternative behaviour. This is made up of:
- an individual’s perception of themselves as having the ability to carry out a particular behaviour (‘self-efficacy’). This is influenced by having the capability and opportunity to change
- an individual’s attitudes towards certain behaviours (i.e., what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’) and the impact on conscious and unconscious decision making. This means people need to understand why change is relevant to them.
How does the behaviour change framework work?
While the behaviour change framework is aimed primarily at policy makers and delivery agents in government agencies, it can be useful for the private and non-government sectors also.
The behaviour change framework can be applied to all policy work and decision making where people’s behaviour is a focus directly or indirectly, such as:
- developing strategies and action plans
- considering policy levers or options
- developing programmes and initiatives
- assigning priorities and resources
- developing laws and regulations
- determining how services will be delivered.
The behaviour framework is designed to be applied at each phase of the policy development process.
How the behaviour change framework is applied to a single intervention (including policy)
An individual policy initiative is unlikely to address all five system change categories and the three elements of individual or business behaviour change. By following the behaviour change framework, policy makers can identify other supporting and complementary initiatives to address a full system or programme approach to achieve an outcome.
How the behaviour change framework is applied to a programme
Similarly, from a programme perspective, it is useful to map where each policy initiative or response sits within the five categories and three elements of individual or business behaviour change.
Applying the behaviour change framework on a programme of initiatives will help identify whether there are any intervention gaps at a programme level. Application of the framework can also facilitate thinking about effective sequencing of initiatives.
Why do we need a behaviour change framework?
A system level approach to achieve meaningful and long-term changes in behaviour, utilising a behaviour change framework across the entire system is also needed.
Understanding people’s stories and what works for people and businesses adds rigour to policy analysis and delivery.
Policy makers can apply a system level and evidence-based behaviour change framework to:
- enable better understanding of the problem and help identify strengths-based solutions
- maximise the value of good investments (i.e., by increasing the amount of people who are able and want to change their behaviour)
- boost community ownership and action and implementation of initiatives
- make targeted investments that are relevant to the local community and support people to change their behaviour.
 These elements have been identified through international literature on behaviour change. Public Health England (UFG_National_Guide_v04.00__1___1_.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)(external link),