Background: Outreach to facilitate individual change

Facilitating Change

Researchers, outreach professionals and educators work to improve environmental management by transferring information to relevant audiences, by providing tools and techniques, and by facilitating the decision process. But what does “transferring information” actually accomplish, and how do we do it effectively? What does it mean to “provide” tools and techniques? Are educators under any obligation to ensure that techniques are used, once they are provided? How do educators objectively facilitate citizen decision processes with the protection of the natural resource in mind?

There are many types of activities to accomplish these education techniques, and most are thoroughly tried and tested. But effectiveness of an outreach or education technique varies depending on the goal and conditions for the effort. One goal for the Changing Public Behavior project is to increase educator skill in choosing an outreach technique that is most likely to lead to preferred results and measurable impacts. Selecting an intervention technique is Step #7, in the CPB Self-Study Modules. We provide examples, below, as a reminder of the huge range of possible interventions available to the educator

For a general introduction to outreach and education techniques, see Use BEPs and Tools for Teaching . For research results summarizing what happens when some of these techniques are applied, see the target audience database. Within the database, you can investigate results listed for Outreach Strategy/Design or Outreach Strategy/Implementation.

Here are some typical outreach or education strategies:

  • Advertisements
  • Agents of diffusion (e.g. trade associations)
  • Audience assessment
  • Awards
  • Camps
  • Certificate of Accomplishment
  • Contests
  • Demonstrations
  • Displays
  • Events
  • Facilitation for individual learning
  • Facilitation for group planning
  • Focus groups
  • Gathering data
  • Incentives
  • Information delivery (by mail, media, brochures, lecture, etc.)
  • Interactive communication
  • Interviews
  • Leadership training
  • Market forces response
  • Meetings
  • Monitoring data
  • Peer to peer communication
  • Product label information
  • Prompts (e.g. point of purchase information)
  • Regulation
  • Service projects
  • Social marketing communication campaign
  • Strategic planning
  • Surveys
  • Teaching techniques, from exposition to inquiry
  • Tours
  • Training/Workshops