Behavior Adoption Campaigns

Published: 11 January 2022
Last edited: 11 January 2022

Rare uses social marketing expertise to design behavior adoption campaigns, leveraging social science evidence to encourage sustainable fishing practices, empower local advocates, and build momentum for plans for community-managed fishing areas including no-take marine reserves. These campaigns are tailored to the local context, and can take the shape of celebratory events recognizing the importance of fishers, public messaging through billboards, radio and TV programming, SMS text campaigns, and more.


Alliance and partnership development
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

Effective behavior adoption campaigns require a strong understanding of the techniques evidenced by social science research to influence a “nudge,” shifting behaviors across a community and building lasting change. Rare has a Behavior and the Environment research center dedicated to understanding the science behind behavior change, and a Knowledge Hub dedicated to training Rare staff in concrete, proven strategies that can be applied to local contexts.

Lessons learned

Adjusting to local contexts is crucial, and therefore important to have on-the-ground implementing staff and partners who build relationships, identify community leaders and advocates, and provide insight into the types of activities and messages likely to resonate with a given community. These strategies must be adaptable. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many in-person events became impossible to hold. In adjusting to these conditions and shifting restrictions, we were able to identify new strategies that in some cases brought even greater awareness and potential for behavior adoption: virtual gatherings that allowed more people to attend events; socially distanced and outdoors parade events; and the use of SMS texts and radio programs to reach hundreds of thousands of coastal Mozambicans. Finally, we learned important lessons about the importance of local leaders. Rare’s Coastal 500 initiative leverages commitments from mayors and other local officials, positioning them as a driving force in lasting change.

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