Behaviour Centered Design: A Practitioner’s Manual

February 2017

This manual is intended to guide behaviour change programmers through the process of programme development. It reflects 25 years of practice in the development of various kinds of programmes by the authors, primarily in developing countries (although we believe the approach is more generally useful).

The manual grew out of a series of modules and webinars developed for the international non-governmental organisation, WaterAid.

It has five take-home points:

  • Behaviour centered design (BCD) is a generic framework for programme development, capable of accommodating a wide variety of theoretical inputs.
  • It is comprised of both a scientifically founded theory of behaviour determination and a best
    practice process model.
  • It is grounded in a theory of change founded in reinforcement learning.
  • It’s all about learning – by those running programmes, as well as those targeted by such
    programs – because behaviour doesn’t change without learning.
  • Hence BCD will itself continue to change as we learn through programme experience and
    further theoretical development.


Additional details

PublisherLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ThemesBehaviour change, Design, nudges and cues, Hygiene

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