25 years of Positive Deviance at the PD Global Conference
"past, present and future"
October 31st to November 3rd 2016
Chris Eldridge has been working and researching with several NGOs in the fields of development and emergencies in Asia and Africa for over 30 years. His research focused initially on developing participatory methods to investigate responses by rural households to drought.
He is based at the Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, where he is developing an initiative entitled ‘ThinkFluence’ - thinking and learning about, leveraging and linking influences on behavior at various levels for the common good.
He has published a ‘behavior-influence analysis’ of the original Positive Deviance (PD) nutrition project in Vietnam. This showed that the effectiveness and popularity of PD reflected its grounding in fundamental principles of behavior, in particular those underlying social behaviors in families, groups, communities and organisations. These principles have been identified by behavioral scientists over the past 50 or so years. He has combined a number of these principles with elements of the PD approach to generate various ‘behavior-influence methods’ which are currently being applied in an innovative Save the Children project in Thailand. The project aims to influence children to wear helmets on motorcycles – currently only 7% do so, and so more children die in traffic accidents in Thailand than in almost any other country. He is also investigating how such a combined approach could help address various forms of inequality – ‘inequalities of influence’ underlie many of the problems facing societies around the world.
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