In this session, Jodi Braszell (DELWP) and Julia Meis-Harris (BehaviourWorks Australia) introduce a behaviour change method that is being explored for community bushfire risk management in Victoria.
In the emergency management sector in Victoria a major focus is bushfires given this area is one of the most bushfire-prone places in the world. For the agencies working to reduce bushfire risk, it is extremely important that communications help people to stay safer around bushfire events.
Communicating bushfire risk by providing information alone does not lead to as much change in community behaviour as agencies would wish to see. Oftentimes something seems to get in the way between providing information and the actions requested.
Behavioural insights can provide answers for the tricky conundrum of ‘why people do the things they do’ and shed light on ‘what else’ influences people’s behaviour besides information. We share our findings so far, discuss how our thinking can benefit science communication strategies and are interested in our audience view on behavioural insights in science communication.
What will audience gain from attending this section?
We aim to raise awareness of an emerging and exciting method to increase the effectiveness of behaviour change communication and engagement strategies
• We will share some of the drivers and barriers to community behaviour change, and will explore how behavioural insight techniques may assist in communication/engagement practices
• We will also raise awareness of some community-led approaches to engagement and risk reduction being delivered in Victoria
• Participant activities, informal Q&As, and a range of different communication mediums will be used, reducing the risk of the session being a ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience
• We hope to build a community of interest and to learn from other interested practitioners working in this field
Part 1 – Introduction (ca. 15min) In this first part of this session, we introduce the challenge we’re working on, and give people a brief introduction to the behavioural insights discipline. We will use interactive quizzes and a range of different mediums to help demonstrate some of the key behavioural insights concepts. We will also ask participants to briefly share their science communications challenges and why they’re attending our session.
Part 2 – Method (5min) In part two of our session, we provide a quick overview of the specific methods that we used to conduct our research.
Part 3 – Findings (15min) In the third part of our session, we share the findings of our initial research question: “What are the drivers and barriers to community preparedness and response to bushfire emergencies?”We will also ask participants to share their thoughts on how these findings may, or may not, align with their own practice and knowledge.
Part 4 – Discussion (25min) In the final part of our session, we link our findings back to the challenges that communicators face in emergency management. We also discuss how behavioural insight methods may provide some useful strategies for other science communicators, regardless of discipline.Through an informal Q&A discussion, we will then explore with the participants where behavioural insights could be useful for the challenges that were shared with us at the start of our session. As behavioural insights is an emerging discipline, we are keen to learn about other projects using similar methods and to build up a community of interest.
Julia Meis-Harris, Research fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia, MSDI
Jodi Braszell, Senior Science Engagement Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning