Feedback of emergent findings relating to behaviour change from stakeholder discourse
Summary of key questions/issues arising (see also previous policy overview)
Group work: discussion, feedback + summing up
WISERD project overview: ‘Knowing Localities’
Providing a unique insight into stakeholders’ perspectives on localities, local knowledge, current agendas
Informed by inter-disciplinary debates around socio-spatial relations, policy spaces, impact of devolution at local and sub-national levels
Data integration, understanding stakeholders use of data and methods, identifying data needs
Informing a stakeholder-led research agenda through identifying key research issues and gaps (to be carried out in WISERD phase 2, 2012-)
122 Interviews (2009/10)
Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff
7 Unitary Authorities (Corresponding to areas within the Wales Spatial Plan 2008)
Tier 1: UA senior management (matched)
Tier 2: managers in other bodies with responsibility for service delivery
Across 8 themes:
Education & Young People
Crime, Public Space & Policing
Health, Wellbeing & Social Care
Language, Citizenship & Identity
Employment & Training
Environment, Tourism & Leisure
Economic Development &
Housing & Transport
Crime, public space and policing 11 Youth Offending Teams; Community Safety Partnerships Economic development and regeneration 19 UA Depts., Regional Economic Forums, Communities First Education and young people 28 UA Depts., Education and Young Peoples Partnerships Employment and training 3 Careers Wales Environment, tourism and leisure 23 UA Depts., Countryside Council for Wales, Parks, Museums Health, well-being and social care 16 UA Depts., Health Boards, CAFCASS Housing and Transport 14 UA Depts., Regional Transport Consortia, Housing Associations Language and cultural heritage 9 Welsh Language Board, UA Cultural Service Depts., Arts Council
Behaviour Change an emerging policy agenda in Wales
Possibility for a distinctive ‘Welsh model’ – different to the Coalition’s ‘Big society’?
Building on Beecham (2006) Beyond Boundaries: Citizen-Centred local Services for Wales
Consider how WISERD Stakeholder interviews reflect this emerging context…
WISERD stakeholders and behaviour change discourse - in relation to:
Citizenship engagement, participation and empowerment.
Citizen’s choices; how officially driven moves to empowerment have (or have not) brought real opportunities of choice
3. Citizen’s helping themselves, or requiring help from the State
-For phrase behaviour change (only 2 returns – both in health)
- For some associated ‘key words’ : empower[ment]; choice; [self]help
(1) Citizenship engagement, participation and empowerment.
The framing of ‘citizen behaviour change’ by our stakeholders was firstly an issue which emerged from a wider set of research questions/findings relating to:
How the knowledge that citizens hold, and citizen participation more broadly, is framed by stakeholders
How stakeholders envisaged and described citizens participating and making a contribution
Type 1): participatory ‘best practice’, where certain citizens are seen as holding ‘local and lay’ knowledge and expertise ; and where involvement is envisaged as having a direct policy input at local level
Type 2): Top- down consultation, where an identified set of objectives has already been decided upon, and where engagement/ consultation is viewed as a means of ‘rolling out’ policy, rather than an opportunity for policy shifts via citizen input (is sometimes linked to constructions of ‘apathetic publics’)
-Where does behaviour change discourse from our stakeholders sit in relation to these typologies? Mix of both… implications?
Findings: Two distinct approaches to what public engagement “is”, and is “for”
Engagement as empowerment: citizens genuinely involved in process (policy/service delivery)
Emotional health is a big issue in Wales…. And how we deliver on appropriate emotional health services for vulnerable young people is a challenge …that’s one of the key… areas of concern… So yeah, um, ultimately we want to deliver the plan. The trick with the plan is actually bringing it down to earth ... are children really benefitting. There’s a lot of empowerment going on in fairness, there’s a lot of consultation and participation work coming through the partnership which is really great and… the youth parliament type activity … Children and young people stakeholder
We’ve seen people come through the Communities First programme being referred to us from health visitors. No confidence, no direction, just altogether miserable with the world … thinking the world owes them something…And just seeing them going from volunteering with, clean up days to becoming empowered, tackling it head on, tackling you know elected members, the town councils on matters that are really of concern to them. And they have gone on to employment Economic regeneration stakeholder
Engagement as a top down agenda
Communities First was such a good idea to start with because it was about empowering local communities…But if there isn't the capacity in the communities you know at the start…putting a worker in there to work with people you know some people might think that works but there's a downside to that. Because that’s like, oh yes we are having it done to us but there's nothing worse than having a sense of place imposed upon you. Language Stakeholder
RES: There is…a real dependency culture in an area like Blaenau Gwent and what we’ve got to try and do is... is again, is develop individuals and communities to start to take that self help approach…most people within the rural communities are very passive about decision making...
INT: How... how important is that self help approach would you say?
RES: Critical because as... as public sector funding becomes more difficult to access and... continues to reduce, there is going to be a need for communities, individuals and so on to take theirself [sic] out of the approach as opposed to expecting there to be support from the public sector. So it’s absolutely critical… and you need to take that bottom up approach, um, and that’s going to be quite a difficult one
2) Choice as empowerment?
RES: Would you prefer those ten children to all go to together to another school, or would you prefer it to just wind down and wind down and wind down?
RES: And quite a few of the schools that we’ve ... that have closed recently, people have taken that choice themselves. So that then it doesn’t become as contentious obviously.
RES: You know, it's local democracy, but ...
RES: ... at the end of the day people want the best services for the lowest cost, don't they?
(Housing Stakeholder )
Making Informed Choices
RES: But it, it's something to do with getting people to understand the risks of the choices they make.
RES: In terms of their long term health.
INT: And that's across all your ...
RES: That's across the whole piece, I think, whether you decide that you're gonna have, use a sunbed, or whether you decide that you're not gonna give up smoking, or whether you, erm, decide that you're, erm, you're gonna stand on a chair rather than get a ladder in the workplace or whatever it, it might be ...
RES: ... that, you know, you, you make certain choices and I think people making informed choices is what I'm - for me the success is that they're making an informed choice when they do those, those acts, those behaviours…. that they at least know what they're doing and why they're doing it.
Opportunities and Abilities to Choose
W ith the onus going back onto the individual… but there are two areas where we still feel the focus would have to be led by government and that is in children … because they’re a vulnerable group and the others would be um, just adult vulnerable groups … um, because that would include, you know, extreme elderly with lots of chronic conditions, it could also include um, adult’s mental health and learning disabilities… the vulnerable groups of adults and children are the two groups that we mustn’t forget and it’s all very well saying, oh, you have responsibility for your own health but actually those two groups don’t have the freedom to make choices the way you can otherwise.
3) Helping citizens help themselves
The Community First Initiative… it’s taking a period of time but it’s interesting to see that you are starting to get, err, real community development starting to take place in some of these communities where, for so many years probably many of the sort of families, individuals and so on where quite excluded but because of Communities First and so on it does develop capacity… and it’s almost a question of the communities facing up to those challenges themselves
… They’ve accessed some funding now to develop a green gym area which is great to see because they... they’re taking a self help approach to benefiting their communities and they’re actually knocking on our door now as opposed to the dependency culture which existed previously
Inequalities in ability to self-help
RES: Yeah, um, it’s definitely the more affluent areas don’t ask as much.
RES: And, dare I say it, you don’t have to put the resources in there. For example, they tend to look after their area better than some of the non-affluent areas ...
There must be a number of people here living in poverty and it’s a difficult one to know because its all about sometimes budgeting, not necessarily …
I mean you could give somebody a thousand pound a week and it still doesn’t get the child or children out of child poverty. So I think it’s about budgeting and we’re looking into ways of perhaps how we can help to get organisations to work with the residents on budgeting skills and so forth.
Economic Regeneration Stakeholder
Choosing not to ‘self-help’
You know all the evidence is that just giving people free tickets for the gym or the swimming baths doesn’t work because they either don’t go, or they go and they sort of doss around and don’t really get the physical activity but the exercise on prescription actually has a sort of supervised element to it so that people really do... you know, providing they take it up which obviously they don’t have to, they really do get the benefit from it.
Return of the State
But if you're gonna change things you've got to structurally change things as well as develop communities and people
Economic Regeneration Stakeholder
You can empower local communities to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for their situation, but they need support. So…my view is that it has come from politicians .
Economic Regeneration Stakeholder
A ‘Welsh’ model for changing behaviours
Forthcoming WAG ‘Climate Change Communications and Engagement Strategy’ (Draft, May 2011):
“ Our objective is to catalyse action – that is to get people, communities and organisations to think about their behaviour and their values, and persuade (inspire?) them to make more sustainable and climate friendly choices”
Promoting behaviour change
Voluntary sector key to the local implementation of programme of action
Discussion Points: Your Experiences and Understandings of Behaviour Change
What do you understand by the term 'behaviour change‘?
How have you been encouraged (or not) to engage with ideas of behaviour change in your role?
How is behaviour change important or useful within your particular policy area?
How does behaviour change fit with ideas of public engagement?
How have, or how would, your clients respond to attempts to change their behaviour?
What is particular about the Welsh context for implementing behaviour change policies?