Behaviour Change Hackathon

The Behaviour Change Hackathon is a six-week program where youth learn basic behaviour change theories and tools and apply them to a real-world problem faced by a non-governmental organisation or social enterprise. Supported by the National Youth Council’s YOUTHx grant and Central Singapore CDC’s Do-Good Grant, the hackathon ran in Singapore from 22 June to 3 August 2019.

WISE is exploring opportunities to run the hackathon for more organisations and target audiences in Singapore, as well as in Indonesia and Cambodia. If you are interested in partnering WISE to run a hackathon to design behaviour change solutions, contact us at bchackathon@washinseasia.org!

About the hackathon

What the hackathon achieved: Contributed to youth becoming active contributors to society through skills-building and hands-on engagement, while providing effective behaviour change solutions to the social and environmental problems in Singapore.

How the hackathon worked: Six groups of five participants were assigned their problem statement at the start of the hackathon. Over five sessions, participants attended lessons on basic behaviour change theories and tools, and completed tasks that enabled their group to develop a behaviour change project proposal to their assigned problem statement. WISE also provided team facilitators to guide the teams in-between sessions while they completed their tasks.

Teams, and their latest updates

Participants, partners and organisers of the Behaviour Change Hackathon pose for a group photo
The Behaviour Change Hackathon engaged 30 participants, 6 partner organisations as well as 6 team facilitators 📷 MJ Photography

changemACRES worked with ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) on co-existence to reduce human-wildlife conflict, specifically by preventing the unnecessary feeding of wildlife. They proposed three strategies to do so: (1) redesigning education materials; (2) promoting volunteering as an alternative way to care for animals; and (3) organising animal festivals. WISE and the team are currently in discussions with ACRES on next steps.

Team LinkAges worked with Bold at Work to change negative perceptions towards aging. The team came in first place and received the Enactus Award for Social Impact on Pitch Day. They proposed connecting youth and seniors together through an online-to-offline platform that customises purposeful intergenerational interactions. The team is currently preparing to pitch their pilot to the National Youth Council’s Young ChangeMakers Community.

Team BYO worked with Erth & Co. to encourage people to ‘bring your own’ (BYO) items. They proposed activating community stewardship to enhance the perception of the vibrant BYO culture among cafes. The next steps for the project are being discussed.

Green Nudge Gang worked with Green Nudge to reduce the waste created at events. They proposed a three-piece tool kit to reduce the inconvenience faced by student event organisers when reducing waste. The team has handed over their proposal to Green Nudge.

Health for Thought worked with Halo Health Asia to increase healthy eating among children of low-income households. The team came in third place on Pitch Day. They proposed a three-phase project to showcase the cooking habits of caregivers in Aljunied GRC. The team has handed over their proposal to Halo Health Asia, who are currently in talks with potential partners to implement the proposal.

Maid for More worked with HOME: Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics on the treatment of migrant domestic workers (MDWs). The team came in second place and received the People’s Choice Award on Pitch Day. They proposed a #IAmMyHelpers___ (e.g. Friend) social media campaign followed by school education and outreach to encourage youth to build relationships with their MDWs.

Hackathon programme

Session 1: Our hackathon got off to a successful start on 22 June 2019 at the Singapore Sustainability Academy! Teams met each other and their partners for the first time, learned about the definition of behaviour, stages of behaviour change and how to identify and analyse problems. They also received the first of their weekly missions: identify and analyse their problem statement that they will be working on for the remainder of the hackathon!

Participants using the '5 Whys' technique to identify the root causes of problems 📷 Jolene Yap
Participants using the ‘5 Whys’ technique to identify the root causes of problems 📷 Jolene Yap

Session 2: In the second session, WISE shared about the RANAS model of behaviour change, which categorises behavioural determinants to risks, attitudes, norms, abilities and self-regulation. The teams’ mission for the week was to select the behaviour that they aim to target in order to address the problem statement they were working on.

The second session was hosted by project partner ACRES, who also gave the participants a tour of their Wildlife Rescue Centre 📷 Jeff Lee Jun Yan

Session 3: WISE introduced the doer/non-doer approach to identify the most important factors affecting someone’s behaviour. Teams started crafting research questions that they would be using to collect data from their target group!

Participants matching example research questions to their corresponding behavioural factors. This helped them craft interview questions relevant to the factors they studied during the data collection phase 📷 Nor Lastrina Hamid

Session 4: To prepare the teams to collect high-quality data, WISE provided introductory lessons on how to carry out individual interviews and facilitate focus group discussions. Once the teams’ forms were ready and approved, they moved on to collecting and analysing the data!

This session included hands-on practice on facilitation skills 📷 MJ Photography

Session 5: Once the teams had identified the key behavioural factors influencing their target behaviour, WISE introduced a catalogue of behaviour change techniques that teams could apply in their proposed solution(s). The catalogue was based on the RANAS model discussed in Session 2. These solutions would evolve into their pitch for Pitch Day!

We were honoured to have Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu drop by to learn more about the hackathon 📷 MJ Photography

Pitch Day: On the final session of the hackathon, teams presented their proposals to a panel of judges, who selected three teams to receive the opportunity to pitch at the National Youth Council Young ChangeMakers Community Open Mic Session. The winners were Team LinkAges (first place, as well as Enactus Award for Social Impact); Maid for More (second place, as well as People’s Choice Award), and; Health for Thought (third place).

Teams had ten minutes to present their pitch, which included the problem analysis and findings from their doer/non-doer surveys 📷 MJ Photography

Post-hackathon: Whether and how the proposals are implemented depends on the capacity of the teams as well as their project partners. As of September 2019, Team LinkAges and Maid for More are in the process of developing and implementing their projects, while Health for Thought and Green Nudge Gang have handed over their proposals to their partners for implementation. The next steps for changeACRES and Team BYO are still in discussion.

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