Establish Behavioral Indicators

Part 2 > Essential Element 5 > Establish Behavioral Indicators

Indicators are the specific measures used to track progress toward achieving your behavioral objectives. All of the information that you have collected so far about your intended audience will be helpful as you identify the indicators to measure the success of your program. It might also be helpful to brainstorm with your team to identify the specific indicators that you want to address for each objective.

Good indicators are:

ValidBecause they measure only what they are intended to measure.
ReliableBecause they produce similar results when used more than once.
SensitiveBecause they reflect changes in what is being studied.

The number of indicators you select is up to you, but whatever you select has to be measured. When you are thinking of the indicators, ask yourself, can that be measured? How will it be measured? Only choose indicators that you will be able to measure and track during the course of your program.

Indicators could be categorized by opportunity, ability and motivation, and each has additional sub-categories. Here are the definitions of each.

Opportunity indicators are the institutional or structural factors that influence an individual’s chance to perform the behavior, including:

  • Availability: The individual’s perception about the product or service in a defined area (e.g., condoms are available within .5 kilometers of my home) and/or actual availability.
  • Quality of care: The individual’s perception about services regarding provider (e.g., female provider for female patients, trustworthy, etc.) and delivery point (e.g., waiting times, cleanliness, privacy, reliability, etc.).
  • Social norm: The individual’s perception regarding standards for behavior that are accepted as usual practice.

Ability indicators are an individual’s skills needed to perform a promoted behavior and include:

  • Knowledge: Measures the correct information about the SRH problem (i.e., symptoms, causes and transmission).
  • Self efficacy: The perception about an individual’s ability to perform a promoted behavior effectively.
  • Social support: The perception about the quantity (i.e., number of times, length of time, etc.) and quality (i.e., content, depth, mode, type, etc.) of help that an individual gives or receives.

Motivation indicators are an individual’s desire to perform a promoted behavior and include:

  • Attitude: The individual’s evaluation or assessment about the promoted behavior.
  • Belief: The individual’s perception about the promoted behavior, which may or may not be true. Typically, beliefs are about myths and misconceptions related to promoted behavior.
  • Intention: The individual’s future desire or plan to perform the promoted behavior.
  • Locus of control: The extent to which individuals believe that they can control events in relation to the promoted behavior.
  • Outcome expectation: The belief that a promoted product, service or behavior is effective in fulfilling its purpose as intended.
  • Subjective norm: Individual’s perception of whether people important to the individual think the behavior should be performed.
  • Threat: Comprised of:

Severity, which is an individual’s perceived magnitude of the harm of the targeted public health problem (i.e., significance or seriousness of getting pregnant when young, degree of physical, psychological or economic harm caused by getting pregnant when young, etc.).

 Susceptibility, which is an individual’s perceived likelihood that getting pregnant will happen to her.



Measuring your Success

Monitoring and evaluating your program is very important. It is best to conduct a survey using your behavioral indicators at the beginning to establish a baseline, mid-way through to see if your program is on track and to make any changes, and at the end of your program to measure progress and accomplishments. Many resources are available to support you in developing M&E tools and therefore will not be covered in this I-Kit. If you want to find out more about M&E, some useful resources can be found in the Resources section at the end of this Essential Element.

Worksheet #8

Worksheet #8

Behavioral Indicators

Worksheet #8 Example

Worksheet #8 Example

Behavioral Indicators: Zanbe



If you want to learn more about the topics covered in this section, visit the Resources section for Essential Element 5.