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Clean Drinking Water

Step 1: Identify your program goal and find out what stops the goal from getting done 

Here Step 1

Goal: Identify


TEAM TASK: Set your goal, gather existing research on causes, and sort out a list of possible causes stopping you from achieving your desired goal.

Step Outputs:

  1. Goal statement
  2. Causes list

Tool Needed: Establish Goal and Causes – descriptionoffline PDF

In these step description pages we give you a breakdown of everything you need to do to get started with behavior analysis.  Completing all the steps (5 per phase, 15 total for the whole process) will round out phase one of the Think | BIG approach, called Focus and AnalyzeSteps for each phase match the goals for that phase of behavior integration guidance (BIG).  We also tell you what tools we have to help you with each step and the main task for your team.  Let’s get to work!

Your goal is at the foundation of your program as it tells you where you want to be at the end of your program.  Goals can be long-term and country-wide, such as:

  • Reduce infant mortality by one-third from the [year] level in my country in the next five years.
  • Catalyze my country’s long-term development strategy, offering a productive, healthy life to all its citizens by [year].
  • By [year], catalyze transformation of a holistic health system to sustain equitable improvements in health for all citizens of my country.

Or goals can be focused on a more immediate, short-term, topic-specific result, like:

  • Increase the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines over the next 18 months.
  • Improve overall hygiene standards of hospital pediatric wards in one year.
  • In our area, strengthen outreach voter systems over two years.

Whether your goal is long-term or short-term, country-wide or area or topic-specific, depends on your particular program.

Sometimes your goal is predefined.  If so, great!  Half the work is already done.  But if you haven’t set your goal yet, here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What are the most pressing challenges, as it relates to your topic, facing your country/area in the next 1-2 or 5-10 years?
  2. What change or progress do you hope to see in 1-2 or 5-10 years?
  3. What can or should your program do to contribute to that change?

“Causes” are the negative issues interfering with you achieving your goal. Causes can be broad and encompassing, like lack of transparency and accountability, limited funding, and inadequate capacity to manage funds.  Or they can be more specific, such as weak health system information data use, insufficient donor support for gender issues, and poor accounting systems hardware and software.

No matter if causes are broad or specific, they limit your ability to achieve your goal. By identifying these causes and setting out behaviors that can overcome them (Step 2), you focus on the behavioral outcomes (the change driving your program) with the most potential to achieve your goal.

Evidence is essential to determining these causes. There is a lot of existing data you can use as a starting point.  It’s usually not necessary to conduct research to gather more.

Need some help finding existing data?  Check out our detailed country data by health topic or by country on select health behaviors.

Can’t find what you are looking for there?  Try the Demographic Health Survey (DHS).

Otherwise, look for data from relevant:

or other context-specific reports and papers (both published and unpublished).

Completed your goal and causes task? Excellent! Then let’s keep moving to pick the behaviors that matter most.

If you still have questions on Step 1 before completing your goal and causes list, we have a tool for that.

Or get in touch.  Our experts are always ready to support your social and behavior change (SBC) goals.

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