Rapid Habit Optimization Tool (R-SHOT)

A Field Tool that Recommends Optimal Habits and Motivational Tactics

Organization: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Problem: To stop Zika in its tracks, households and communities in affected areas need to make the proper and consistent cleaning of large standing water sources a habit. Changing habits and attitudes can be very difficult, and most personnel in the field do that have the tools for identifying and creating vector control habits.

Solution: The Rapid SBCC Habit Optimization Tool (R-SHOT) is a simple field tool combining local data with evidence-based principles to recommend the optimal habit and motivational tactics for a given audience and setting. The tool will help communities determine how to disrupt existing habits and insert new vector control habits into people’s lives, what the most effective motivational levers to drive behavior change are, and how these tactics should be tailored/optimized for different settings and audiences. Compliance will remain low if people need to think carefully about when, how, and why to act to prevent Zika. Vector control behaviors for Zika need to become “automatic habits”. To be successful, habit creation tactics need to be tailored to local contexts and leverage the existing behaviors of end users.


John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs team:

Headshot of Susan Krenn

Susan Krenn – Center Director

"My experiences living and working four years in Ecuador as a Peace Corps Volunteer and as a Safe Water and Medical Programs Coordinator for Timmy Global Health revealed important it is to enable individuals and communities to champion and inspire their families to adopt healthier behaviors."

Headshot of Alice Payne Merritt

Alice Payne Merritt – MPH, Director of Technical Programs – Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Headshot of Douglas Storey

Douglas Storey – Director of Communication Science and Research, Johns Hopkins University; PhD, Stanford University; M.A. in Journalism, The University of Texas at Austin; B.Sc., Bucknell University

Headshot of Gabrielle Hunter

Gabrielle Hunter – MPH, Muhlenberg College; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Headshot of Sean Maloney

Sean Maloney – MPH, Muhlenberg College; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Catalyst Behavioral Sciences team:

Headshot of David Neal

David Neal – Managing Partners and Founder, Catalyst Behavioral Sciences at Duke University; PhD, University of Melbourne

"I'm fascinated by the distinction between initiating versus maintaining behavior change, especially as it relates to relatively simple, “low-deliberation,” behaviors in daily life."

Headshot of Connie Rodman

Connie Rodman – Duke University; University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)

"As an occupational therapist and researcher, I’m interested in the link between behavioral change and improving health and quality of life on an individual and global scale. This is a public health intervention that fundamentally empowers individuals, which is exciting because of its potential for lasting impact."

Headshot of Rachel Burns

Rachel Burns – PhD, University of Guelph; University of Minnesota

"I work in the area of health behavior change because behaviors can affect the onset, development, and severity of many health conditions. A number of strategies for preventing mosquito bites involve people changing their behaviors."

Headshot of Ting Jiang

Ting Jiang – Tilburg University; University of Pennsylvania; Duke University

"I am motivated by the potential that behavioral interventions have to effect change."

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