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Behavior Change

Smartpen uses communication to promote positive health outcomes, based on proven theories of behavior change. We employ a systematic process beginning with formative research and behavior analysis, followed by communication planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Audiences are carefully segmented, messages and materials are pre-tested and interpersonal channels used to achieve defined behavioral objectives.

Our approach has been to create programs that both communicate authentic and persuasive messages to people, encouraging them to adopt positive behaviors, and to change the conditions around people to facilitate those behaviors. Smartpen's behavior change programs furthermore share three fundamental methodological elements.
Analysis of behavior: Early on, we recognized the importance of understanding that health behaviors are complex and influenced by many different factors, some internal to the individual and some external. A hallmark of Smartpen's behavior change programs has been to map these different behavioral determinants, identify those that are both significant and susceptible to change, and then design interventions to influence these. Our analytic framework helps behavior change planners make strategic choices in targeting internal factors (such as self-efficacy), external factors (such as access to products and services), and indirect factors (such as culture and religion), in designing intervention programs that really work.
Innovative communications: Creative, entertaining communication programs, using both mass media and interpersonal channels and informed by careful audience research and pre-testing, are one of the core components of successful behavior change interventions. The most effective messages    1) promote benefits that people really want
 2) persuade people that they have the ability to change
 3) convince people that the change is socially acceptable and even popular.
Multi-level strategies: Simple preventive actions by the individual, family, and community, stimulated by behavior change communication (BCC) or social marketing programs, are the most immediate means for reducing morbidity and improving well-being. But service providers in health institutions have a profound influence on individual decisions, and thus improving skills and promoting self-efficacy of health workers may be a critical behavior change strategy. Likewise, advocacy strategies may be called for to enact a new law or change a policy that is hampering change. Multi-level interventions help shift community and institutional norms to guarantee behavior changes are sustained over time.