London Collaborative behaviour change practice exchange session 25 February 2010 Introduction Drawing on live case studies, the practice exchange session aimed to build understanding of what makes an effective behaviour change initiative. The event was held to enable colleagues from London boroughs and key partners to share their experience of delivering initiatives, discuss best practice and draw out learning about how to effectively influence behaviours. Drawing together learning from the London Collaborative behaviour change workstream to date, the morning was also used to test out some conclusions and an evaluation checklist. The outcomes of the session will be used to further develop the Capital Ambition guide to behaviour change as a resource. Presentations and other supporting documents from the session are on the Network London website.
Setting the context Paul Martin, chief executive at LB Sutton, and one of the champions of the London Collaborative behaviour change workstream, introduced the morning. Paul suggested that behaviour change could be understood as “community engagement with a purpose”, focused on two drivers – the need to engage with residents and taking costs out of the organisation. He highlighted that we are all, as residents and consumers, susceptible to efforts to change our behaviours, but that there are risks in delivering behaviour change messages, which can be counter-productive if poorly pitched. Sutton’s behaviour change programme was discussed in depth at the 14 October 2009 London Collaborative practice exchange session: the flagship Smarter Travel Sutton work has recently been evaluated, and the evaluation is now on the Network London website. Paul described three potential levels a behaviour change initiative might focus on: Benefit for the community as a whole – e.g. recycling, travel etc. Benefit to the individual – e.g. healthy eating, exercise etc. Efficiency benefit, reducing LA spend – e.g. getting residents to use the internet or direct debit for paying council tax rather than in person or by phone The range of service and outcome areas to which behaviour change insights are being applied is expanding. In Sutton, where the cost of parking enforcement exceeds the revenue it generates, consideration is being given to using TV licensing as a model for enforcing parking restrictions: high fines, highly visible vans and a belief that the TV Licensing Authority has sophisticated detection equipment leads many to buy TV licenses. Such an approach would allow more targeted use of enforcement officers, and could generate savings. 1
Better Together - driving behaviour change: an evidence based approach Paul Nasjarek, Director of Adult and Housing Services, London Borough of Harrow
Behaviour change work in LB Harrow is part of a corporate and LSP approach, focusing on engaging with the community to: manage resident expectations; promote understanding of the impact of resident behaviour, and change this (with public services support / incentives) for the benefit of the borough; reduce future costs for public services; and empower residents to take decisions about their own lives and neighbourhoods Councils need to think about using the powers we have in incentivising, enforcement, and communications/ education/ marketing, to influence citizen behaviours Interventions can generate individual or community benefits – can be understood as part of a matrix of interventions which might include: o taking greater control of lives, e.g. organisation of care (individual choice) o individual responsibility/delivery, e.g. what the individual does which contributes to deliver o community having voice o community mobilisation, e.g. groups/ residents running community assets, volunteering and public action in caring for the elderly. The programme builds on research, using mosaic segments and supplementary methods to explore what drives behaviour and how people might be prepared to shift behaviour in the future. One find, for example, was that the cost and the formality of gyms are barriers to people doing more physical activity. Business cases are being constructed in relation to physical activity, anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood responsibility (environmental), community assets and tenant responsibility. Research has also looked at recycling, channel migration and responsibility for care.
Issues raised in Q&A: Business can play a significant role in behaviour change: in Harrow these have been engaged through the LSP/ community, in Sutton through Business Improvement Districts. Time is a key concept: we need time with the community, different values, and to overcome time as a barrier to behaviour change. Target and performance regimes work against this. Evidence base and incorporation of residents’ views are critical. Total Place approach key to efficiency in this work. Harrow’s is LSP and community driven, with PCT leading on physical activity, voluntary sector leading on care for the elderly.
Go London! Leveraging the 2012 Games for health improvement Hilary Ross, 2012 Programme Director, NHS London
Go London aims to maximise the health legacy of the Games, which was a central pledge to the Olympic bid: using the Games as a catalyst for increasing physical activity. London is the 2nd worst region in England for physical activity. 50 per cent of adults do less than 1 x 30min session of physical activity per week The physical activity focus is aligned to Change4Life, the government BC physical activity programme. Five cross cutting themes have been identified through which the greatest impact can be achieved in a short time: o “festival effect” – building community involvement to feel part of the occasion o Energising local systems – partnership working is key 2
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Targeting the inactive population, e.g. walking targeted at children at risk of obesity and those in deprived areas Workplaces as key settings – NHS and public sector could make a difference by targeting their workforce Using new technology to stimulate innovation – currently holding social innovation competition to generate bottom up discussion, and to gather ideas for projects Learning from Vancouver – British Columbia is one of the healthiest areas in Canada so they’ve had a good start with legacy. Strong political leadership, bringing in expertise and funds by working with the corporate sector and using the web for low cost engagement have been central to their success.
Issues raised in Q&A: In Vancouver a government minister is championing the work. They have made the legacy run through existing programmes despite difficult economic situation. Key to engaging politicians and communities is identifying the things people can engage with, rather than being too strategic through CEOs/political leaders. (In the NHS there are no targets on physical activity, which is often seen as a long-term pay back). Relationships between NHS London through PCTs to local authorities and leisure centres see inconsistent engagement across London. This works well in some areas and not others. The intention to launch a pan-London incentive scheme and an online hub will help partners come together. Need to provide physical activity which interests those young people who don’t “do” sport and want to stay cool or fashionable. Could make physical activity/ sport interface with something else, e.g. local music gigs, Wii consoles Need to look at what else is a barrier to participation in sport/ physical activity, e.g. safety of parks, equipment provision, etc.
Evaluating Barnet’s behaviour change programme: tackling environmental and sustainability challenges Andrew Nathan, Policy and Partnerships Group Manager, LB Barnet
Behaviour change pilots aimed to influence a shift to more sustainable behaviours. Review of current communication with residents found the council’s traditional communication on environmental issues was focused on providing information and not engaging. The carbon pilot recruited community peers to work to engage with residents and give practical support, information, products such as energy saving light bulbs, etc. It aimed to generate new social norms and gain long-term commitments on small behaviour shifts e.g. standby to off, kettles using right amount of water, etc. Carbon pilot focused on the area of West Finchley, fairly environmentally aware area, with the intention these residents would act as champions and promote behaviours to others 3 phases: o Door knocking and engagement to raise awareness of unconscious behaviours o Using volunteers to introduce new behaviours, signposting to places for info, “retrieval cues” for reminding of environmentally friendly behaviour, community fairs, online portal “Do the Green Thing” with questionnaires and assessment tools, ability to share tips and stories to create movement for change o Refreezing behaviours – monitoring pledges, labelling success – thank you posters providing figures etc. No independent monitoring but survey suggested an increase in sustainable behaviours
The waste pilot worked with a group willing to do more to change behaviours. The pilot focus was waste reduction (not recycling), and used similar engagement method to carbon pilot, including a website with recipes for using leftovers. No significant overall reduction of waste, although there were peaks and troughs around the campaign associated with specific activities. Little interaction continued on the website “Do the Green Thing” after the pilots. Learning points: o The recruitment of volunteers and the receptiveness of residents was difficult o People are most likely to change behaviour around time of major life changes. Need to tie into these Future shape of Barnet: new areas of work will focus on sharing facilities, building a new relationship with citizens (dialogue about expectations – local newspaper headline during snow read “local neighbours forced to care”), need to embrace local activists and support them.
Themes from Q&A: Initiatives require investment of money up front for long term benefits: can be a barrier, but need to invest in prevention Pilots found staff will need new skills for this type of work, e.g. in community engagement. Work on the ‘Future shape of Barnet’ includes a workstream on “people and culture” to identify future skills – some of which are relating to customers and clear communication. Potential to take forward behaviour change initiatives by making more creative use of staff in mainstream services routinely engaging with people and entering their homes. Changing behaviours of staff and partners is also key, setting peer example rather than just preaching from councils.
Table based discussions Kate Dalzell, The Young Foundation, summarised the lessons about best practice and challenges in delivering behaviour change initiatives that have been emerged from the London Collaborative’s work on behaviour change. This has been summarised in a framework tool, and through the Capital Ambition guide to behaviour change. Participants discussed the usefulness of the framework tool, and profitable areas of further collaboration. Discussions on the framework tool Ensure national frameworks are taken into account The checklist is a bit generic, could be applied to any change programme Needs to better reflect the importance of quality communication, providing “messages with heart”, meaningful engagement, and using realistic language which makes sense and speaks to residents (e.g. not channel migration), and works in internal communication. Communication and engagement need be tailored to who we are engaging and to include a feedback loop Giving staff the right tools and skills point should be at the top of the checklist. Need staff delivering services (e.g. street cleaning) to be engaged and get involved in influencing behaviour. Professionalism was identified as one of the barriers in changing behaviour. Need to add theory of scale to the checklist –giving people the skills to hand over responsibility to the community. Services need to change how we behave to people to get them to change their behaviour
Cost benefit analysis is vital. E.g. is the £5million grant from TfL for Travel Sutton getting its money’s worth? The checklist should highlight the need to fully scope projects at the beginning. Securing savings through behaviour change should be done in a Total Place fashion, including all services (as opposed to current service focused approaches). Focus should be more on the lifestyles and families Employers, and employees need to be more involved in communities, workforce. Found the behaviour change evaluation guide evaluates what’s currently underway but doesn’t take it to the next step. There’s a narrative missing which underlies the work with citizens across the council – the strategic approach. The desired outcome/ aim of the behaviour change intervention needs to be explicit – what and why are we trying to change – for the individual? The community? For efficiencies?
Taking forward collaboration on behaviour change
Need more London wide sharing of BC experience and good practice. (Can be competition rather than collaboration between neighbouring boroughs). 33 London boroughs: madness to undertake segmentation 33 times. We need to understand behavioural dynamics and norms at play as well as just what the current behaviour is. We should identify and focus on catalyst behaviours and take a London wide approach – e.g. a pan-London no tolerance approach to litter. Need to understand where people relate to/ identify with, e.g. the ward, South London, London? Also to consider their life patterns, e.g. discounts to leisure centres whether or not in borough. Some initiatives would be delivered well across wards, e.g. travel behaviour, sporting events Significant political challenges in joining up activity across boroughs (although already strong partnerships in some areas to build on, e.g. waste authorities, London recycling network) Need to collaborate on how we can accelerate making practical things happen in this area, through spreading where measurable, tangible outcomes. Could benefit from collaboration beyond London, with the UK more widely o E.g. not all Olympic events are being held in London. Sailing is being held in Dorset Could also collaborate with external associations/ organisations Collaboration across sectors would be beneficial, e.g. look at Duke of Edinburg Awards and link into activity through schools. We should look at lifestyles from an individual point of view, with a wider range of services working together.
Additional points raised in discussion
Important to couch goals in the language of the target audience, e.g. reduction in electricity bills may be more salient than carbon emissions. Can also be a challenge to communicate things internally, a number of different jargons are in operation. We are missing a people-focused approach – where they’re at and their needs, and need to use the information we already have about this. London sustainability commission finding that people can have low awareness of their own behaviours: the more green people think they are, the less they really are. Need to realise benefits of internal staff rather than commissioning costly consultancies: use those on the ground already engaged e.g. Neighbourhood management in Westminster.
Should use sophisticated engagement that takes advantage of existing contacts with residents: o e.g. customer relationships system, where someone rings up with a query on getting their child into a certain school provide related information about walking buses o Need to capture people at appropriate points, e.g. life changes and transition points Need to include all kinds of people, not just those willing, but also those in deprived areas who can benefit from behaviour change. There are a big group who do not know how to get organised. Also need to consider that the largest segment do not want to be involved. Measuring what works is very difficult, e.g. hard to demonstrate impact of Sure Start. In a political environment need to be able to demonstrate this. Treasury targets focus on the finances rather than real outcomes Need to empower councillors to make bold decisions with strong analysis of what works. Political pressure needs to be key –maximising the potential of ward members in community engagement To deal with time poverty, we should look at time banking models. E.g. Orange Rock Corps last year. Get young people doing physical activities – gardening, removing graffiti, helping local sports groups etc – as volunteer in exchange for concert tickets. Are councils the best-placed to deliver behaviour change?
The Young Foundation for the London Collaborative 24 March 2010