Collective Service Documentation


The Behavioural Drivers Model: A conceptual framework for social and behaviour change programming


Why this publication?

Despite the insights that models can provide to explain and – sometimes – predict behaviours, their application by social and behaviour change practitioners remains very limited. Theoretical foundations of behavioural strategies and interventions are often implicit rather than explicit (Sood and Cronin, 2019). There is a need to make behavioural models more practical and attractive to those who are supposed to use them in real life, filling this operational gap. Implementation science flags that most theories address barriers and enablers but provide limited ‘’how-to’’ support for selecting relevant approaches to influence them (Nilsen, 2015). Others suggest approaches to guide implementation, but these are not directly and rigorously linked to the constructs that were used to build the models.

One of the consequences of this discontinuity between theory and practice is the frequent resorting to ‘’go-to’’ default interventions, such as trying to solve any behavioural issue with a communication campaign, regardless of what may explain the practice of the behaviour. This brings into question the appropriate use of already limited resources, and the potential for programmes to have an impact.

To increase the uptake of theory by programme designers, we need to address two essential questions:

  1. Why do people do what they do? 2. How do we influence what they do?

In this document, we will try to make the explanation of complex phenomena more accessible, and systematically link every conceptual element to an approach that can influence it. In doing so, we hope to simplify the use of our model so that it falls into the ‘’useful’’ category described by George Box’s above aphorism.

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social science theory, Behaviours, social science research, FAQ