The effective application of behaviour change theory offers huge potential in the developing world. Governments, donors and partners often face significant barriers to successful programme outcomes in the form of entrenched attitudes, habits and norms of communities and beneficiaries.
Drawing on our groundbreaking work around behaviour change policies, strategies and interventions, the Agricultural Policy Team of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation worked with Kantar Public in Africa to conduct a study to inform their strategy for the adoption of new farm behaviour and technology in Mali and Tanzania.
The study unveiled clear patterns in the profile of smallholder farmers more likely to adopt new technologies and processes, as well as identifying barriers to adoption and how to overcome them. It helped the Foundation tailor their investment to the people with the most readiness to change and by understanding the needs of these farming segments, enabled them to tweak the interventions to best resonate with the people they were seeking to support.
The impact of this work was a better return on investment for the Foundation and a greater uptake of services. The study also generated important evidence to support the Foundation’s ongoing work to improve the productivity of 75 million poor farming households in Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh and India by 2030.