What do you think is more important in terms
of doing a behavior (e.g., exclusive breastfeeding): your
motivation to do it (e.g., how much you think it will benefit
your child) or the absence of things that block you from doing
it (e.g., having a job that allows you to breastfeed your
child every few hours throughout the day)?
Both can be quite important. There are two main categories
of determinants that influence whether or not someone does
a behavior: those things that hinder the person from doing
the behavior (“barriers”) and those things that
are enjoyable or beneficial about the behavior (“positive
attributes of the action”).
As you work through the Barrier Analysis process, keep in
mind that both of these things are important. In addition
to reducing barriers for a given behavior, you will also need
to look at ways to increase people’s motivation to do
the behavior. Often, even without reducing barriers, you can
significantly increase the proportion of people doing a behavior
just by focusing on the positive attributes (i.e., telling
people what is enjoyable or beneficial about the behavior).
You can visualize the relationship between the barriers and
positive attributes of the action in this way:
As we have said, there are many determinants (many of which
are barriers) that influence our decisions about adopting
behaviors. Let's look at each of these important determinants
and how they influence our decisions in more depth.
In this exercise, when we talk about the "preventive
action," we are referring to an action (or behavior)
like "using ORS" (oral rehydration solution for
diarrhea) or "planting crops in rows" or "brushing
your teeth." These are actions that can prevent disease,
prevent agricultural problems (e.g., low production), or other
problems. As one of our examples, we will use the problem
of dehydration caused by diarrhea and the preventive action
of "using oral serum."