Environmental Behaviour Change - Evaluating and Improving the Impact - Webinar and more


(Thea Silver) #1

One of the most challenging aspects of environmental education work is measuring impact, particularly over the longer-term. How do we know that a program or intervention results in behaviour change? How do we know this behaviour change is sustained? These questions continue to be explored by practitioners and funders alike, and while no one seems to have a ‘silver bullet’, new and promising approaches to such evaluation are emerging.

On August 21 (tomorrow!!) at 3:00pm EDT, the North American Association for Environmental Education is hosting a webinar on this very topic. You can find more information and register here. I’m planning on attending and hope to share some learnings here. For folks working in this field, I’m hoping you can share your challenges, successes, promising practices, approaches here - and that we can start to form a small ‘community of practice’ around this very tricky topic. And if others attend the webinar as well, please share what you learn.

(Stacey McDonald) #2

I’m sorry that I missed this! Can anyone share any highlights?


(Thea Silver) #3

Thanks @smcdonald. It was a really good webinar jam packed (maybe a bit too jam packed) with good information!

The webinar was presented in four parts:

  1. Behaviour change roots - science and social marketing
  2. Fundamental principles of a behaviour change campaign
  3. Measuring impact - Theory of Change and key indicators
  4. Q&A

To be honest, because there was so much to present in the first couple of parts, the third part - measuring impact - which was really of most interest to me (not that the other stuff wasn’t good - it was…it just wasn’t necessarily new for me and I was most interested in the impact evaluation part) was done very quickly - though I believe there is interest in possibly doing a follow-up webinar just focused on that aspect (all recognized that this was breezed over due to time constraints).

In the first couple of parts, there was a clear recognition that at the end of the day, most environmental problems are human-focused and involve human behaviour, so the social science/behavioural science aspect is critical. This was stressed for even traditional conservation (e.g., species/habitat stuff) - so that it is increasingly important to bring social scientists and behavioural scientists to the table.

In regard to principles of a behaviour change campaign - the following was stressed:
Principle 1 - People get overwhelmed when faced with too many choices… so…focus on one behaviour at a time. Create one ask or action to avoid ‘distraction paralysis’
Principle 2 - People are really different… so… define your target audience based on shared characteristics.
Principle 3 - Knowledge is NOT enough…so…use multiple strategies to influence your target audience
Principle 4 - People’s behaviours are influenced by others…so…create opportunities for social reinforcement and ADVERTISE (e.g., everyone is doing it).

As mentioned, the Part of TofC was done very quickly and really a teaser to what hopefully will be explored in more depth in the future.

A recording of the webinar, along with links to additional resources, can be found here.

If anyone else was on the webinar, or has something to add - please feel free to do so!!

(Stacey McDonald) #4

Thanks for the recap! Let us know if there is a follow. I would be really interested!

(MDuiker) #6

Just adding the webinar within this discussion.