Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

  • HazelLewis
  • HazelLewis's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Water Science and Governance MSc student, interested in ecological sanitation
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

I am conducting some research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector (including, but not limited to WASH). I hope that this will be useful as it may generate a clearer picture of what those within the sector would like to see in terms of further research and implementation frameworks. Do you think this is a worthwhile pursuit?

If you are a water sector professional and can spare 5 minutes to complete this survey, I would be much obliged: qtrial2016q2az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6ETuGxZYkU0tBQN

Anyone who works in the water sector in an organisation where influencing water user behaviour is important is welcome to take part. I am deliberately reaching out to a wide variety of organisations as I would like an overall picture of the water sector as a whole. Without naming specific organisations, the participants of the survey so far have been UK water suppliers, regulators, the water sustainability departments of commercial organisations and NGOs. Of course, it is much easier to gain relevant information in an interview than in a survey, but due to time constraints, I will be interviewing around 20 key informants. I would like many more participants to complete the survey, but in order to keep it to a 5 minute survey, it may be somewhat limited in its ability to fully capture your attitudes and experiences.

By participating in this research you will allow me to identify the barriers to the use of behavioural techniques in the water sector and assess the relationship between professional perceptions of behavioural techniques and the documented experiences of organisations. This will mean that researchers will be able to focus their future research on the areas that are deemed most relevant by those who will implement the techniques. In this way, your answers will be used to answer the question: “What can academics and regulators do to make behavioural techniques more useful and/or appealing to the water sector?”. I hope that this research will be the first step in setting out a practical framework or implementation field guide for behavioural techniques. Do you think this is a useful project?

If you would like further information, or would like to take part in the 30 minute interview version of this survey, you can email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I have attached a more detailed information sheet to this post. Any feedback you have is much welcomed.

Thanks for your time.
Survey Details
There are 10 multiple choice questions and one long answer question about your perceptions and experiences of using behavioural techniques (rather than regulation) to influence the behaviours of water users/consumers. These questions will attempt to determine:
How knowledgeable you or your colleagues are about behavioural techniques and where you/your organisation gets their information about behavioural techniques
If you think influencing customer behaviours is important and if it possible to do
If/How your organisation influences customer behaviour
What you see to be barriers to the use of behavioural techniques and what would make you more likely to use them. This is speaking generally and includes factors such as ‘lack of implementation framework’ and ‘cost benefit concerns’ rather than problems with specific techniques/projects.
There is then an opportunity for you to talk about any of your own practical experiences with implementing behavioural approaches, and in particular talk about how outcomes were measured, if it was successful and any problems you encountered at any stage of the project.
You may skip as many questions as you wish.
Should not take longer than 5-10 minutes: qtrial2016q2az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6ETuGxZYkU0tBQN
Thanks for any help

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

You need to login to reply
  • muench
  • muench's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 2113
  • Karma: 44
  • Likes received: 620

Re: Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

Hello Hazel,

Welcome to the forum!
I just took your survey because I like surveys and I also want people to take my surveys, so I take theirs. ;-)

However, while taking your survey, I have the following comments:
  1. I think it might be useful to attach the survey questions in this forum thread so that people can see the questions before taking the survey (which starts with a page of general info). In my case, I might not have taken the survey then because I felt I am probably not the right target group.
  2. It is actually not clear whom you have in mind when you speak of "your organisation" and "your clients". It seems to me that you're thinking more of the large water supply and wastewater utilities in the global North? Not about developing countries, right?
  3. Could you provide a more detailed outline of your research, as the survey questions left me a bit confused about what you really have in mind here?

It could be a really interesting topic!

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Community manager of this forum via SEI
(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
Wikipedian, co-founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
You need to login to reply
  • HazelLewis
  • HazelLewis's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Water Science and Governance MSc student, interested in ecological sanitation
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

Thanks for you feedback Elisabeth - I will update my post shortly with more info. Target group for the survey are any professionals who work in an organisation where influencing the way people use water is or could be an approach.
You need to login to reply
  • HazelLewis
  • HazelLewis's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Water Science and Governance MSc student, interested in ecological sanitation
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out my survey. It is now closed.

So far the data looks interesting and useful, and I am currently writing up about the opportunities and barriers of behaviour change in the water sector. It seems that there is a lot of opportunity and enthusiasm in the UK water sector, and internationally, but a lack of information and conflation of ideas is a problem. Evaluation is, it seems, a problem with behaviour change techniques and sharing between sectors and liaison with academics could definitely aid the water sector to come up with robust evaluation methods.

I will be able to publish results fully in September.
Thanks again for your help,
Hazel
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
  • HazelLewis
  • HazelLewis's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Water Science and Governance MSc student, interested in ecological sanitation
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Research on the barriers to using behaviour change techniques within the water sector - please take my survey

Dear All,
Apologies in the delay in getting my findings to you. Here I'll give a brief overview of the research and findings. One of the most relevant findings for this audience is that the WASH sector is far more educated and experienced in the use of behaviour change than the UK water utilities and sector as a whole. I'd like to propose that inter-industry sharing could be an important part of developing behaviour change as a method in the water sector.

What can behavioural techniques be used for in the UK water sector?
Correct disposal of Fats, Oils and Greases
Water consumption/wastage
Fixing leaks
Uptake of metering
Uptake of direct debit use

Any problems that are caused by or exacerbated by what people do! Can you think of more?

Research Aims
To determine the attitudes within the UK water sector towards the use of behavioural techniques
To identify the main barriers to their use
To inform further research and the development of frameworks and handbooks on the highest priority challenges.
Methodology
Interviewed 14 organisations, represented by 17 participants.
7 UK water utilities, Government & regulators: OFWAT, DEFRA, DFID, Irish Water, NGOs: WaterAid and WWF and Unilever
A further 32 participants took an online survey, representing primarily charities and consultancies


Key Findings
Use of Behavioural Techniques is Limited
• There is substantial interest and enthusiasm for using behavioural techniques in the water sector
• Whilst social norms and nudge theory are well known, the full range of behavioural techniques have not been explored.
• There is distinct untapped potential, for example the use of gamification.
• There is limited experience in the sector, and a lack of guidance
• This can lead to the inadvertent use of traditional customer engagement, such as advertising, under the guise of behaviour change techniques.
Practical Issues of Monitoring and Evaluation
• There is uncertainty about how to effectively monitor and evaluate behaviour change projects
• There is an over-reliance on customer feedback
• A lack of longitudinal studies contribute to uncertainty about the effectiveness of behavioural techniques.

Please feel free to email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like further details, to see the full report or to discuss any potential projects that may come out of these findings
The following user(s) like this post: muench
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Time to create page: 0.452 seconds