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The Impact-Likelihood Matrix: A policy tool for behaviour prioritisation

The proliferation of applied behaviour change science over the past decade has provided new ways of thinking about policy making. Policy makers now have a range of frameworks and methods to assist in formulating change for social and environmental benefits. However, the development of strategies for the identification and prioritisation of target behaviours has been less forthcoming. This paper outlines a tool to assist in behaviour selection. Behaviours are assessed for their potential impact on addressing a specific issue, the likelihood of adoption by the target audience and existing participation levels within the target audience. Each of these characteristics is scored, allowing behaviours to be mapped onto a meaningful, visual, matrix for prioritisation. Additional data on behaviour type and the key perceived barriers to participation in each behaviour are layered onto the matrix to provide direction for intervention design. An application of the prioritisation matrix is presented within an environmental context through a case study of water demand management behaviours for domestic consumers in Australia. The prioritisation matrix could provide a decision-making tool for policy makers to assist in the selection of target behaviours to address complex issues.
Sarah Kneebone, Liam Smith, Kelly Fielding
Case Studies