Positive Deviance ApproachFor Behavior & Social Change Funded through the Ford Foundation Tufts University
The P o w e r of Positive Deviance Solutions before our very eyesThe Premise:In every community there are certain individuals whose uncommonpractices/behaviors enable them to find better solutions to problemsthan their neighbors who have access to the same resources
Positive Deviance (PD) Approach• Identifying Solutions to Community Problems Within the Community Today The Key Question? What enables some members of the community (the “Positive Deviants”) to find better solutions to pervasive problems than their neighbors who have access to the same resources?
e Dev iance P ositiv In quiryEstablishes community behavioral norms related to the problem to be addressedEnables community to discover successful uncommon behaviors/ strategies practiced by the Positive Deviants
Find ings lyzing PD A na rs avi o s or vi Beh ha Be PD rs vioPDI findings are passed through a Be ha conceptual “accessibility sieve” Only those behaviors/strategies Ac Ac ce ce ss ssi accessible to all are kept ib bll et et ooA All ll The rest are “TBU,” True but Useless (i.e. not accessible to all) and are discarded
Focus on PD Behavior• We can’t (yet) clone people• But we can adopt their successful behaviors/strategies
PD Focus on Practice Rather than Knowledge“It’s easier to ACT your way into a new way of THINKING, than to THINK your way into a new way of ACTING”
PD Enables us to Act TODAY Although most problems have complex, interlinked underlying causes . . .The presence of Positive Deviants demonstrates that it is possible to find successful solutions TODAY before all the underlying causes are addressed!
De fin e Define Defin e• Define the problem, its perceived causes and related current practices (situation analysis)• Define what a successful outcome would look like (described as a behavioral or status outcome)
e term ine D• Determine if there are any individuals or entities in community who ALREADY exhibit desired behavior or status (PD identification)
Di scover• Discover uncommon practices/behaviors enabling the PDs to outperform/find better solutions to the problem than others in their “community”
D esign• Design and implement intervention enabling others in “community” to access and PRACTICE new behaviors (focus on “doing” rather than transfer of knowledge)
Positive Deviance Process Design Discover DetermineDefine
Traditional vs PD Problem Solving ApproachTraditional PDFlows from problem analysis Flows from identificationtowards solution and analysis of successful solution to problem solving Perceived Problem Parameters Perceived Problem Parameters Actual Problem Actual Problem Parameters Fixed Parameters Expanded Solution Expanded Solution Solution Space Space Space Perceived Problem Parameters Actual Problem Parameters
PD: Crossing The “Knowledge/Behavior Change Gap” •Social proof ge •Perceived •Opportunity Behavior l ed advantage for practice change owKn
TRADITIONAL VS POSITIVE DEVIANCE PROBLEM SOLVING APPROACHTRADITIONAL POSITIVE DEVIANCEExternally Fueled (by “experts” or Internally Fueled (by “people like internal authority) us”, same culture and resources)Top-down, Outside-in Down-up, Inside-outDeficit Based “What’s wrong here?” Asset Based “What’s right here?”Begins with analysis of underlying Begins with analysis of demonstrably causes of PROBLEM successful SOLUTIONSSolution Space limited by perceived Solution Space enlarged through problem parameters discovery of actual parametersTriggers Immune System “defense Bypasses Immune System (solution response” shares same “DNA” as host)
PD and Attributes Dictating “Speed of Adoption of Innovation”Diffusion Attributes PD Behavior Innovation• relative advantage • identified as “advantageous”• compatibility • created within cultural context• complexity • Requires no special resources• triability • opportunity to practice• observability • through PDI and personal experience Everett Rogers “Diffusion of Innovation”
PD & The Diffusion of Innovation Life-Cycle Community Thereby jumping the participates in “early adopters/early discovery of majority” chasm innovation Geoffrey A Moore. Crossing the Chasm.
Current Applications of Positive Deviance Programmatic context CountriesChildhood development & More than 40 countries throughoutMalnutrition (PD/Hearth) the worldHIV/AIDS risk reduction Myanmar, Indonesia, Viet NamAntenatal care, Maternal & Egypt, PakistanNewborn Care, Breastfeeding Viet NamFemale Genital Cutting EgyptGirl Trafficking Indonesia, NepalEducation Issues Argentina, US (NSDC)Quality of Health Care US (Waterbury Hospital, Connecticut)