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Establishing the Behaviour Change Evidence Base to Inform Community-Based Waste Prevention and Recycling - WR0504

The purpose of this study is to enhance Defra’s understanding of community-based behaviour change in relation to waste prevention and recycling. The aim is to develop a comprehensive and consistent evidence-base by drawing together the existing field of knowledge in order to inform and direct future research work in this area.

This research will need to capture and examine the lessons learned, gaps in the current knowledge, or where there are contentious views by focusing on the following:

· Behaviour change research projects and grass-roots delivery projects that are ‘outcome’ focussed (i.e. the extent to which behaviour change is evident) rather than ‘output’ focussed (i.e. the type and frequency of methods used).

· The factors that are deemed to stimulate behaviour change, e.g. type and level of convenience, type of infrastructure and level of integration, mix and complexity of methods used, effectiveness of targeting, motivation and incentivisation, use of local volunteers and networks etc;

· Behaviour change indictors that, in addition to sustainable waste management, consider the wider social and economic dimension such as social inclusion (e.g. ethnic minority and disabled groups), social capital (social networks), job creation, skills development, wellbeing and health, impact on other behaviours such as travel and energy efficiency.

· The strength of the scientific research methodologies and analyses. This will involve an examination of the robustness of the methodology, the sample type and size, and an assessment of the analysis technique used to determine the research conclusions.

The outputs from the study will provide a report which includes an assessment model, gap analysis, opportunities and recommended priorities for further work in this area.
3. The objectives of the Project are:
1. Desk-based examination of research projects. Numerous recent studies – and most notably “Behaviour Change: Scoping the Way Forward” – have scoped out the parameters of the behaviour change literature/evidence base. The objective of this phase is to follow directly on from that work to:

· fill in any gaps (looking beyond sustainable waste management alone);
· and then undertake an assessment of the robustness of the evidence base.

This requires three forms of interrogation:

· Of the monitoring methodologies adopted (are outcomes/ impacts measured, was any quantification attempted?);
· Of the processes used to deliver behaviour change (e.g. information, personal challenges, community capacity building);
· And, thirdly, of the key outcomes (is, and in what ways, behaviour change evident?).

2. Scoping delivery projects and developing a framework. The objective of this phase is two-fold:

· First, to develop a “long list” of community (waste) behaviour change projects, according to a suitable matrix/system of classification, to feed into Objective 3. This will contain a degree of mapping and scoping of “what’s out there”. However, within the parameters of this assignment, a formal mapping exercise will not be undertaken.

· Second, to establish an organising framework for the investigation. This has a dual purpose – initially to guide the collection and review of data from delivery projects; then, subsequently, to form the basis for the Assessment Model. It is anticipated that the framework will evolve during the project, in particular in the light of stakeholder feedback.

A draft Inception Report will be produced at the end of this phase containing initial assessment parameters for the model, drawn from the work in objectives a and b above. These will then be tested and refined in the following phases.

3. Stakeholder workshop (1). There will be three phases of consultation/ dissemination. This first phase is the largest in scope and seeks to engage a wide array of key stakeholders to gain their insights and feedback on the work undertaken as part of Objectives 1 and 2. Stakeholders will be invited to comment on (a) the scope of the “long list” (e.g. are there any obvious candidate projects missing?) and (b) the initial assessment parameters for the model and project database.
This phase of consultation will follow the development of a draft organising framework and specification for the Assessment Model. The Inception Report will be finalised following this stage taking on board feedback from the consultation.

4. Undertaking research with delivery projects. The objective here is to deploy a range of research techniques to gather information about how the projects work, including (a) key success factors/barriers on the ground - in terms of securing behaviour change and (b) measuring behaviour change. Delivery projects will be put through a series of “progressive filters” to gather information, with levels of detail increasing at each level of the filtering process. Filtering will start with an electronic survey of the initial “long list” and then will progressively narrow down to end up with a smaller number of in-depth case studies. This will ensure both coverage but also depth.

Data collection will be organised around the model framework developed in Objective 2 and Objective 3 above. Data/information will be organised into an electronic database which will be based on the model framework. The database will be searchable according to the key parameters of the assessment model (e.g. different research methods, different processes for securing behaviour change, and different measures of ‘success’).

A workshop will be held with Defra project managers/the WRAGG Steering Group at the end of the telephone survey stage, before embarking on the case studies.

5. Reporting, dissemination and communication of results. Two further phases of consultation and dissemination follow from Objective 3. First, a presentation of the draft report and model to a smaller group of stakeholders to debate the proposals and consider the practical implications and steps required to ‘action’ the findings. Second, following amendments to the draft, a programme of dissemination to a wider audience. As part of this, a “Community Waste Behaviour Change Case Studies” report will be produced, which would also contain a best practice summary drawn from the case studies and the wider database. This report would be for wide circulation to encourage good practice to be transferred and replicated.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Final report - abridged version   (155k)
• Final Report : Final report - full version   (841k)
• Final Report - Annex : Case study report   (2445k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2006

Cost: £102,650
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Brook Lyndhurst
Behaviour change              
Development of tools - facilitate behaviour change              
Encourage change in resource use/waste generation              
Environmental Protection              
Establishing a sound database for waste management              
Social Dimension              
Social Research              
Understand/enhance pro-environmental behaviour              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management