Barrier and Motivator Analysis will help to understand people’s behaviour and what motivates their behaviours by assessing the factors that help or hinder behaviour change. This in-depth analysis can be done in a variety of ways.
Behaviours are influenced by numerous factors including context, beliefs, values and social pressure (chapter B ). Most human beings, regardless of their physical, cultural and social context, share key drivers and emotions that are good for their survival. Such universal drivers include affiliation to a certain group; attraction (a tendency to be attracted to and want to attract, high-value mates); nurture (a tendency to want to care for offspring); comfort (a tendency to place oneself in optimal physical conditions) and fear (a tendency to avoid objects and situations that risk injury or death). Motivators are positive drivers that motivate people to practise healthy hygiene behaviours and barriers are factors that prevent people from doing so. Barriers can be physical (access to facilities such as soap, water, suitable toilets), social (norms and customs, lack of trust in health workers and health information) and biological (mental state). The analyses usually require the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data A.4 but, in the acute response phase, there may not be time to conduct a quantitative survey. Assessment techniques such as Focus Group Discussions T.14 and Key Informant Interviews T.23 can provide insights about existing barriers and motivators. It can also be helpful to conduct a Doer/Non-Doer Analysis T.32 using both qualitative and quantitative data A.4. Findings may influence the selection of promotional activities and the formulation of hygiene messages in a behaviour change plan. The analysis of barriers and motivators for hygiene promotion (HP) should be part of the general assessment and not a separate exercise.
Barriers and Motivator Analysis is applicable in all contexts and should be used in the initial phase of an assessment before implementing any HP activity. However, a more structured Doer/Non-Doer Analysis T.32 will usually require more time and may not be possible in the acute phase.
Listen carefully to a variety of stakeholders
Do consider both the priority groups that you want to work with (e.g. mothers of young children) and those who might influence them (e.g. grandmothers)
Do not make assumptions about what will motivate or hinder behaviour based on your own perspective
Do not focus on one single barrier (e.g. lack of knowledge) but consider all socio-cultural, environmental and physical barriers to change
WaterAid carried out formative research in five countries in Southern Africa to identify drivers and barriers for key hygiene behaviours such as handwashing with soap, food hygiene or latrine use. Common barriers identified included a lack of facilities, poor construction quality, limited privacy, soap considered to be an expensive commodity and the time, distance and queues when collecting water. Motivations ranged from disgust at having something dirty or disease-causing on your hands, to affiliation and the wish to be judged positively by peers. Other drivers found to motivate construction and the use of latrines included by-laws or sanctions established at a local level with penalties such as fines and livestock confiscation for non-compliance.
IFRC (2018): IFRC WASH Guidelines for Hygiene Promotion in Emergency Operations. Step 3 (Available in different languages)
Kittle, B. (2017): A Practical Guide to Conducting a Barrier Analysis 2nd Edition, Helen Keller International
Davis, J., Thomas, P. (2010): Barrier Analysis Facilitator’s Guide: A Tool for Improving Behavior Change Communication in Child Survival and Community Development Programs, Food for the Hungry
TOPS Program (2014): Barrier Analysis Questionnaire, FSN Network
PIN (2017): The Barriers to Improve Hygiene and Sanitation Practices in Rural Ethiopia, People in Need
WaterAid (2020): Removing Barriers to the Practice of Hygiene in Southern Africa. Summary of Formative Research Findings in Five Countries