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Trustworthiness of Social and Behaviour Change Messages

Indicator Phrasing

% of [specify the target group] who believe in the content of provided behaviour change messages
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of [specify the target group] who believe in the content of provided behaviour change messages

French: % de [spécifier le groupe cible] qui croient au contenu des messages de changement de comportement fournis

Portuguese: % de [especifique o grupo-alvo] que acreditam no conteúdo das mensagens promovidas para a mudança de comportamento

Czech: % [určete cílovou skupinu], kteří věří obsahu sdělení usilujících o změnu současných praktik

What is its purpose?

One of the pre-conditions of people acting upon the social and behaviour change (SBC) messages is that they believe that what the messages say is true. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of the target group members who believe in the content of provided messages.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

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


1) List the messages that you want to assess. Select those messages that claim certain benefits of the behaviour in question, so that the respondent can say whether s/he agrees with them or not. For example, “Mothers! Breastmilk is the only food babies need during the first six months of life. It does not need any other food or fluids."



2) Set the minimum number of messages the respondent needs to see as trustworthy in order to meet the indicator (for example, at least 3 out of 5 messages).



3) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of the target group members:



Q1: The message in [specify the communication material] says that [specify what the message claims]. To what extent do you believe that such information is or is not true?

A1: _

1) fully believes in what the message says

2) only partially believes in what the message says

3) does not believe in what the message says

4) does not know



4) Repeat the same question for all the other messages you want to assess.



5) Count the number of messages which the given respondent perceived as trustworthy - “fully believed” in what the message says.



6) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who fully believed in at least the minimum number of messages by the total number of respondents (exclude those who did not know). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Important Comments

1) Ensuring that people believe in the promoted messages is something that should be done through pre-testing (see guidance below) before the SBC communication activities start. The main purpose of collecting the data after the activities were implemented is to gain more representative information on how trustworthy the messages are from the target audience’s point of view – an essential pre-condition for people acting upon the messages.


2) If you have a use for such data (i.e. can act upon them), considering asking the respondents who “do not believe” for the main reasons of their mistrust.


3) Ensure that each question focuses only on one benefit of the given behaviour as the respondent might believe in one benefit but not another (for example, do not say “Mothers! Giving your babies only breastmilk during the first six months of life is easy and keeps them healthy!")


4) Report also on the total proportion of respondents who “fully” and “partially” believed


Access Additional Guidance

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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