8.2.2 Opportunity determinants

The FOAM framework (Figure 8.1) provides four subheadings for the behavioural determinants relating to whether someone has the chance to engage in the desired behaviour.

Access and availability

These are external factors that will influence the opportunity for change. For example, if you want your target population to use latrines for defecation, then some of the access and availability determinants might be as follows:

  • If a man is working in an area where there are no latrines then he may defecate in the open, even if he used a latrine at home.
  • If there are no materials available to build latrines or no skilled builders in the area, then people will not have access to a latrine.

Product attributes

It’s not sufficient for there just to be access and availability if the products or services are not appropriate. Following on from the examples above:

  • If there is a latrine available near the man’s workplace but it is poorly maintained and unpleasant, he may not use it.
  • If there are materials available but they are poor quality, or there is a skilled builder who has a reputation for dishonesty, latrines may still not be built.

These examples of behavioural determinants are deterrents to the desired behaviour, but it’s important to note that factors under these headings can also be facilitators – things that encourage and support the desired change. (In Study Session 7, facilitators were defined as people who guide and support meetings. The word can also be applied more broadly to anything that helps or supports an outcome.)

Social norms

Our behaviour is strongly influenced by the behaviour of similar people around us, in other words by social norms. People may follow examples of both good and bad behaviour and you need to consider both in your framework. For example you may note that a worker at a building site opts to use a public latrine rather than defecate in the open because he has seen his colleague using it. You might also note that people don’t clean this latrine after use because each person observes that the user before them hasn’t done so.

Sanctions and enforcement

Sanctions are penalties that may be imposed on people who behave badly. For example, people who leave their rubbish by the roadside may have to pay a fine. You should note whether any sanctions like this influence behaviour and how firmly they are enforced.

8.2.3 Ability determinants