One of our participants from Bontolebang village arriving with a wheelbarrow load of plastic rubbish. Photo: P. Bradley.

Pilot behaviour change program wheeled out at Selayar

With massively overweight suitcases full of training materials and workbooks, the ‘behaviour change’ team landed at Selayar, Indonesia, during May to deliver its positive environmental behaviour (waste management) pilot program.

The team, comprising activity leader Erik Simmons, The University of Queensland (UQ), CCRES coordinator (Indonesia) Ibu Yuni Kumoloraras and facilitator-trainer Paula Bradley, Currie Communications, had a two-fold workplan: first, to train four local facilitators to deliver the program at the chosen pilot site (Bontolebang village on the island of Pasi Gusung) and second, to support training delivery to 48 female participants over two days.

Together with the team at the Triple P Innovation Precinct at UQ, PhD researcher Mr Simmons designed the pilot program based on the results of the team’s behavioural diagnosis work conducted last November using surveys and focus groups.

Analysis of the findings from the focus groups revealed three behaviours that collectively stuck out as problematic candidate behaviours for targeting – bomb fishing, cyanide fishing, and waste disposal.

Waste disposal turned out to be the preferred option to target with the pilot program: “While it did rank slightly behind the other options for impact, waste disposal ranked optimally for accessibility, salience and generalisability,” Mr Simmons said.

Local facilitator Ibu Sunarty demonstrating how to set goals. Photo: P Bradley

The pilot program’s modules were designed around the central idea of participants becoming Village Heroes by championing a safer, healthy environment through setting and tracking goals (see picture), building positive relationships, problem solving and taking care of themselves.

Participants were asked to set one common goal as part of the training – to collect two large bags of plastic rubbish and return it on the second day of the training a week later. Every single participant achieved this goal. One even returned with three bags strapped to a wheelbarrow (see picture). The team also noticed several children collecting rubbish for their mothers before they had even left the island on the first day of training – social diffusion in action!

The team’s approach to the training program for its local facilitators – Ibu Andi Eti, Ibu Gita Lestari, Ibu Jumniaty and Ibu Sunarty – was to explain the content in Bahasa Indonesia, modify it for local relevance and model the facilitation process, including a number of demonstrations. The team had a lot of fun putting the demonstrations together, which linked strongly into communicating the program’s key messages during the actual training.

The facilitators were also free to communicate with participants using the local Selayarese language rather than exclusively Bahasa Indonesia, which also supported the best-possible communication of key messages.

Participant surveys were also conducted pre- and post-program delivery with the results to be analysed in coming weeks.

The team would like to thank Pak Zul Regal Janwar and Pak Andi Penrang from the Dinas Marine Affairs and Fisheries for their magnificent help and support.

By Paula Bradley

For more information contact Erik Simmons