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Exploring behavioural economics: Using 'nudge theory' to improve the effectiveness of SafePORK interventions in Vietnam

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Presentation by Mathew Hennessey, Sunghwan Kim, Fred Unger, Hung Nguyen-Viet, Sinh Dang, Thinh Nguyen and Barbara Häsler at a regional symposium on research into smallholder pig production, health and pork safety, Hanoi, Vietnam, 27–29 March 2019.

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Exploring behavioural economics: Using 'nudge theory' to improve the effectiveness of SafePORK interventions in Vietnam

  1. 1. Exploring Behavioural Economics: Using ‘Nudge Theory’ to improve the effectiveness of SafePORK interventions in Vietnam Mathew Hennessey, Sunghwan Kim, Fred Unger, Hung Nguyen, Sinh Dang, Thinh Nguyen, Barbara Häsler Regional symposium on research into smallholder pig production, health, and pork safety Hanoi, Vietnam 27-29 March 2019
  2. 2. Background • Pork eaten in Vietnam is commonly contaminated with Salmonella • Relatively high incidence rate (17%) of Salmonella related food borne disease • Considerable cost to the economy • The SafePORK project, a market based approach to improve food safety, has designed a set of interventions for the pork value chain to improve food safety • Interventions require changes in actor’s behaviour • Can these behavioural changes be supported by behavioural economics/nudge theory?
  3. 3. Nudge background Nuffield ladder (Nuffield council of bioethics)
  4. 4. Nudge background EAST Framework (Behavioural insight team)
  5. 5. Nudge background MINDSPACE Framework (Behavioural insight team)
  6. 6. Nudge background Example 1 Singapore – printing bills on pink paper Pink normally used for debt collection - People have been primed to the colour pink Improvement in prompt payment rates
  7. 7. Nudge background Example 2 Kenya – Providing chlorine dispensers at water outlets • Visual reminder of the need to chlorinate water (providing information and environmental restructuring) • Easy to use at point of water collection (easy and timely- from EAST framework) • See other people doing the same (modelling, priming, and social from EAST) • Led to a 53% increase in uptake in India (Kremer et al. 2010)
  8. 8. Project aims and objectives Aim: To understand whether behavioural economics/nudge theory can be used to improve the effectiveness of food safety interventions in the pork value chain in Vietnam Objectives: • Investigate how nudges are already being used in the pork value chain in Vietnam • Understand which behavioural elements of pork value chain actors may be amenable to nudging • Investigate the feasibility of using nudges within the pork value chain
  9. 9. Methods Phase 1 – summer 2018 (Hanoi and Hung Yen) Key informant interviews (n=12) - to gain information about existing food safety interventions Questionnaires (n=132) - To determine behaviours amenable to nudging Nuffield ladder EAST MINDSPACE Examine ‘nudge’ frameworks
  10. 10. Methods Phase 2 – November 2018 (Hanoi) Stakeholder workshop with value chain actors (n=30) Group discussions Practical exercises Discuss the feasibility of using the proposed nudges
  11. 11. Results Phase 1 – Key informant interviews (n=12) • Hanoi and Hung Yen province • Relevant authorities (6), influencing institutions (3), research institutions (3) Nuffield ladder: 21/35 interventions classified as nudges - Provision of information (14) - Enabled choice (6) - Guide through default (1) EAST: 85.7% attractive 47.6% easy/social 28.6% timely MINDSPACE: 47.6% messenger 57.1% incentives 38.1% norms 19% defaults 61.9% salient 23.8% priming 14.3% affect 4.8% commitment 23.8% ego
  12. 12. Results Phase 1 – Questionnaire based survey (n=132) • Producers (17), slaughter house workers (9), retailers (71), food vendors (35) • When regarding food safety – respondents ranked veterinarians as the most trustworthy group, local authorities lowest • Respondents said they were most likely to imitate the behaviour of their colleagues over other groups • Reputation was considered the most effective incentive for behavioural change
  13. 13. Results Phase 2 – Stakeholder workshop with value chain actors (n=30) • Producer (1), slaughter houses workers (4), retailers (6), government officials (8), and researchers (11) Group discussions: Actors were generally aware of the slaughter house and retail processes which could lead to microbial contamination of pork Wiping of carcass due to fear that wet meat would spoil and consumer preference for ‘dry’ looking meat Lack of access to improved infrastructure cited as reason for inability to change behaviours
  14. 14. Results Phase 2 – Stakeholder workshop with value chain actors (n=30) • Framing of language, images, colours Practical exercises
  15. 15. Results Phase 2 – Stakeholder workshop with value chain actors (n=30) Discussing the feasibility of using the proposed nudges: - Access to improve infrastructure needed - Changes would need to be supported by authorities (veterinarians and animal health inspectors)
  16. 16. Conclusions Nudges are already a common part of food safety interventions in Vietnam (60% of those identified) - lack of formal evaluation makes it challenging to assess their effectiveness Value chain actors highly regard veterinarians, their peers, and their reputation - these factors should be considered when designing and delivering food safety interventions. Nudges should be created which use images of local situations and people, and language which is specific to a target audience
  17. 17. Next steps Nudges to support food safety interventions will be created using the findings from this study These nudges will be tested in the field to allow assessment of their effectiveness If nudges are found to be effective then they will be used to support the SafePORK food safety intervention trial

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