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Perceived Action Efficacy

Indicator Phrasing

% of [specify the target group] who believe that [specify the behaviour] reduces the risk of [specify the problem]
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of [specify the target group] who believe that [specify the behaviour] reduces the risk of [specify the problem]

French: % de [spécifier le groupe cible] qui pensent que [spécifier le comportement] est efficace

Spanish: % de [especificar el grupo objetivo] que cree que [especificar el comportamiento] reduce el riesgo de [especificar el problema]

Portuguese: % de [especifique o grupo-alvo] que acreditam que [especifique o comportamento] é eficaz

Czech: % [určete cílovou skupinu], kteří věří, že [určete propagovanou praktiku] snižuje riziko [určete daný problém]

What is its purpose?

People who believe that a given behaviour either prevents or addresses a certain problem are more likely to adopt and keep practicing that behaviour. The indicator therefore measures the proportion of the target group members who believe that the behaviour in question is effective in addressing or preventing a given problem. The indicator is applicable across different sectors.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Define the behaviour. Ensure that you are specific, so that the respondents understand it as it was intended.


2) Define which specific problem the behaviour is supposed to address or what it is supposed to achieve.


3) For each practice, design an interview question to assessing whether the respondents think that the practice is effective in addressing the given problem or achieving the desired outcome. Ensure that all questions are phrased in a neutral manner that does not lead the respondent to a particular answer. For example:

   - Some people think that using organic pesticides for vegetables helps with reducing the incidence of pests. Other people think that it does not help much. What is your opinion?

   - Do you think that consuming micronutrient supplements during pregnancy makes the delivery safer or that it does not help?


4) Include the following answer options:

    1) thinks that the behaviour is effective

    2) thinks that the behaviour is NOT effective

    3) does not know


5) Collect the required data using individual interviews with a representative sample of your target group members.


6) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who think that the behaviour is effective by the total number of respondents (exclude those who did not know). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data depending on your target group and the focus of your intervention.

Important Comments

1) While people’s perceptions are often seen as something subjective, something that does not provide ‘reliable evidence’, they have a major impact on people’s willingness to adopt a given behaviour. People must believe that the behaviour is effective in preventing (or reducing) the given problem; otherwise they will not perceive it as worth the effort. That is why the data collected by this indicator is so important.


2) If a respondent thinks that the behaviour is not effective, it is highly recommended that the survey also assesses why s/he thinks so.


3) It is important that only people who are aware of the given behaviour (and the problem) are asked about its perceived effectiveness, otherwise you will get unreliable data. Consider this when deciding whether (and if so, how) to use this indicator.


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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