Evaluating Behaviour Change Interventions: A Case Study in Vietnam
Illegal wildlife trade has been recognised as a severe threat to biodiversity and a top international priority. Conservation practitioners and world leaders have agreed that focusing on controlling the supply of these products must be combined with addressing the demand from consumers at end-markets. Behaviour change interventions have been launched in countries such as Viet Nam in attempts to reduce demand for wildlife products. Using an original method combining social marketing and behaviour change theory, following the grounded theory approach, interventions in Viet Nam have been evaluated. From this study, it was found that very few have included the basic theory to understand the behaviour in question and/or the audience performing this behaviour. Messages have been designed based on assumptions instead of reliable evidence of success. As a result, audiences have been exposed to ineffective messages at the expense of limited resources and funding, and evaluation of these projects has not been considered a priority. This study presents lessons and theory that can be applied when designing future behaviour change interventions to maximise success of consumer behaviour change campaigns within conservation.