Addressing Gender Inequity, One Scarf at a Time

In the Ethiopian town of Maychew, in excess of 500 ladies assembled in October 2014, some to get scarves of verdant green and marigold and others to get comparatively hued umbrellas amid a function to welcome them and to commend a hotly anticipated move in sexual orientation value. With this function, these ladies joined a great many other people who are at long last picking up indistinguishable portrayal for their work from their male partners, thanks to some extent to a conduct change interchanges (BCC) battle Danya International helped initiate all through Ethiopia.

Ladies ranchers contribute considerably to maintaining Ethiopia’s agrarian division, yet numbers demonstrate that both essential agriculturist cooperatives (PCs) and bigger rancher agreeable associations (FCUs) altogether underrepresent them. The Government of Ethiopia needs to change this. In 2014, they set up a 30-percent focus for female enrollment at these PCs and FCUs as an approach to stress the expanded effectiveness that these gatherings would appreciate through dynamic interest and authority from ladies.

This was the place Danya International could venture in and give the BCC bolster expected to make this objective a reality. Recognizing that enlistment is both the initial step and one of the greatest difficulties to expanding ladies’ investment, the U.S. Organization for International Development’s Agricultural Growth Program-Agribusiness and Market Development (AGP-AMDe) venture used Danya’s BCC aptitude to execute a motivation based enrollment drive that would help ladies ranchers step far from the societal standards that debilitated their support lastly participate.

On account of Danya’s community oriented effort battle, in excess of 78,000 ladies enlisted as new helpful individuals all through 2014, as indicated by government reports (AGP-AMDe has confirmed more than 42,000 of these registrants up until this point). The provincial normal enrollment increment for ladies went from 25 percent to 32.5 percent, with Maychew’s Bokra FCU detailing that 52 percent of its participation contained ladies ranchers—the most noteworthy level of ladies individuals in each of the four focused on districts. Each of the four areas have exhibited noteworthy enrollment increments among ladies farmers.Beginning in mid 2014, Danya’s BCC staff outlined and actualized a serious multi-lingual BCC system focusing on four AGP districts—Amhara; Oromia; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region; and Tigray. They offered impetuses, for example, scarves for ladies who joined and umbrellas for current individuals who selected at least five ladies to join. Furthermore, the battle offered strolling tractors and cruisers to the PCs that demonstrated the most elevated increment in ladies members.

Beside the motivating forces offered for joining and selecting others, ladies ranchers as of now are announcing increments in pay and advantages on account of their new participation with PCs and FCUs. As demonstrated by Danya’s BCC battle, with the best possible measure of support, numerous ladies agriculturists all through these locales are at long last receiving the full benefit for what they sow.

Seriously, What is a Calorie?: Using Incentive Appeals and Old-School Techniques

Fear appeals seldom work in behavior change because, quite frankly, no one knows what it feels like to die. So even when we’re presented with tame fear appeals, like cigarette warning labels that read “may cause lung cancer” or nutrition facts listing high sodium or calorie counts, we shrug it off because we can’t “see” their effects on our weakened lungs or struggling heart (like we could see, say, the results of a broken arm or tattoo). The idea of cigarette tar or a calorie poses no threat to me because I can’t even fathom what it is in its basic form—much less what it may do to my body.

So what if, instead of threatening my life, the appeal threatened my quality of life by actually showing me the threat’s impact on the things that I deem most important? Suddenly, our “out of sight, out of mind” mantra shifts to “I’m still not convinced this thing will kill me in the future, but I understand that it will definitely infringe on my freedom/time/appearance/friends’ approval today!”

Check out the new research from Johns Hopkins University that builds upon this idea:

  • For 6 weeks, researchers posted signs near soda refrigerators in Baltimore stores that told purchasers it would take 50 minutes of running or 5 miles of walking to burn off the 250 calories in the soda they were about to buy.
  • Their report shows a decrease in the number of sodas purchased and an increase in the purchase of smaller sodas.
  • The results? Forty percent of those interviewed who noticed the signs said the information changed their decision about what they would buy.
  • Even better? The purchasing effects lasted 6 weeks after the signs were taken down.

But knowledge-increasing and behavior-nudging tools, like the researchers’ posters, are not new, you say. After all, app developers have bottled this idea before and applied it to some of our favorite mobile app downloads, showing us how poor diet decisions will eat away at our daily share of calories and how many Empire State Buildings we have “climbed” when we opt to use the stairs.


The problem? Pulling out a phone and scanning the bar code of a soda to see what impact it will have on my life is an added barrier for those for whom “getting fit” is not top-of-mind and who would buy the drink without thinking twice. For these people, who are literally holding the information-laden nutrition facts in their hands, information is not power. “Calorie” does not mean anything, so its threat falls flat.

For that reason, I really like the researchers’ use, here, of “old-school” techniques (posters, for crying out loud!) to nudge buyers at the point-of-purchase. The purchase power is still in their hands and they still can choose to ignore the sign without taking additional actions, but now “calorie” has more meaning. Nearly everyone buying the soda will see the poster and be reminded how far and time-consuming a 5-mile walk is—finally giving that calorie a face and value. Their soda-purchasing behaviors may not change but, who knows, maybe it will influence their potato-chip intake or TV time or miles walked later. At least now we’ve presented them with information that actually may be relevant to their day-to-day life instead of continuing to list that intangible, not-so-threatening calorie count and expecting it to do all the work.

What do calories “look” like to you? What nudges you to make healthier decisions? Have you seen fear appeals or “old-school” message techniques with positive outcomes?