8.2.4 Motivation determinants

The FOAM framework provides six subheadings for the behavioural determinants relating to whether someone wants to engage in the desired behaviour.

Attitudes and beliefs

Beliefs are ideas that people hold to be true. Attitudes are shown in the way people treat others, express themselves or approach a situation. People are often unaware of their attitudes and beliefs. Regardless of whether a person’s beliefs are factually correct or not, they can be a powerful determinant in their understanding and perception of WASH behaviours. For example, some people believe that children’s faeces are not harmful but, in fact, they may pose a greater health risk than adult faeces because diarrhoea and parasitic worm infections are more common in young children (Brown et al, 2013). Assessing attitudes and beliefs can be difficult, but should not be underestimated in your FOAM framework.


Values are closely related to beliefs and represent the code of conduct that a group or community choose to act by. For example, if modernity and progress are values that a community aspires to, then it will be more likely to adopt behaviour that is seen as consistent with these standards.

Emotional, social and physical drivers

Drivers are strong feelings that drive us or lead us to behave a certain way. For example, safety, comfort, privacy, disgust, status, pride, shame, shyness, modesty and vanity could all be drivers of either positive or negative behaviour.

Competing priorities

We have already noted affordability as a determinant, but just because someone can afford something doesn’t necessarily mean they will prioritise it in their spending, particularly when a household has very little money. Understanding the way financial decisions are made within a family and/or community can help you decide how and when to present the case for any expenditure that you are proposing.


In the context of the FOAM framework, intention describes the stage that your target population is at in its decision-making process and helps you to plan your intervention accordingly. For example, if there has been a public-awareness campaign about handwashing and you know that people understand the value of it, then your intervention might be focused on the provision of facilities. Or if people had slipped back into lazy habits and stopped bothering to wash their hands, then you might plan a new campaign to remind them. If there has been no such campaign, then there is no existing intention and your intervention will need to take a different approach.

Willingness to pay

As previously noted, willingness to pay tells us how much an individual or group will consider paying for what feature or benefit. It is closely related to both affordability and competing priorities.

8.2.3 Ability determinants

8.3 Gathering information using a situation analysis