Forum

Behaviour Change and Citizen Empowerment in East Africa

Tom Wein reflects on behaviour change in development, and the education work of Twaweza in East Africa. Owen Barder of the Centre for Global Development hosts the excellent international development podcast, Development Drums. In an episode broadcast early this year, he discussed accountability and openness with Rakesh Rajani and Martin Tisné.  An interesting discussion in […]




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A Response to Dr. Brudenell on Axiological Engagement

The Spring 2013 issue of The Journal of Military Operations contained an article by Dr Anna Maria Brudenell on the use of influence in war. She proposed in particular the use of a method named Axiological Engagement, which employs an adapted form of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to determine what is important to the enemy […]




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Women, Influence & Leadership at Work, Dr Elizabeth Stevens

Influence isn’t only something wielded by organizations and governments; individual influence is just as important an area of study. Here, Elizabeth Stevens cuts past the reams of self-help books and looks at the evidence. The results suggest that women are rewarded for subtly different behaviours than are men – a finding that complicates much of […]




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New Writing on Narratives in War, Tom Wein

Emile Simpson, ‘War from the ground up: Twenty-first century combat as politics’, Hurst/Columbia University Press; Steven R. Corman (ed.), ‘Narrating the Exit from Afghanistan’, Center for Strategic Communication. Emile Simpson’s first book, in the words of the illustrious Michael Howard, “deserves to be seen as a coda to Clausewitz’s On War”. That is just one […]




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Tips and Tricks for Qualitative Analysis, Tom Wein

Qualitative analysis looks easy enough. You read your transcripts, summarize what they said and suggest what they mean. Unfortunately, it rarely works out like that. You get lost in a sea of quotes. One eloquent respondent sticks in the mind, and another tongue-tied interviewee gets forgotten. The data seems to provide exactly the conclusions you […]




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Corporate culture is about groups, not individuals, Dr Elisabeth Stevens

Dr Elisabeth Stevens is an alumnus of our commercial partner, SCL, and a contributor to the BDI methodology. Here, she looks at the role of corporate culture in behavioural change. Corporate culture is not usually high on a CEO’s priority list. Many executives think of culture as being “fluffy” and difficult to link to company […]




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Behavioural Change in Energy Policy, Tom Wein

Tom Wein reviews the new Policy Exchange report on energy, and finds much to be positive about. The think tank Policy Exchange has just released their new report on energy, ‘Smarter, Greener, Cheaper: Joining Up Domestic Energy Efficiency Policy’, penned by Guy Newey. The first recommendation is on the importance of programmes for behavioural change […]




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Rupert Smith on communication in war, Tom Wein

Tom Wein notes the value of General Sir Rupert Smith’s contributions to thinking about communication in war. General Sir Rupert Smith’s The Utility of Force is one of the most thoughtful works on the character of modern war. As part of his powerful argument that we now fight ‘wars among the people’, he writes authoritatively […]




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Navigating the many reviews of US strategic communications

The authors of Behavioural Conflict – Tatham, Mackay & Rowland – recently published the paper ‘The Effectiveness of US Military Information Operations in Afghanistan 2001-2010: Why RAND missed the point’ (available here). Clear in its assumptions and sharp in its criticisms, it has created considerable buzz in the influence community. Yet it is not the […]




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To counter violent extremism, focus on behaviour

In this forum post, Tom Wein follows Will McCants and Clinton Watts in arguing that to counter violent extremism, we must focus on behaviour, not perceptions or beliefs. The months following the September 11th attacks were scary. The scale of the attack seemed to suggest a powerful and well-organized enemy. Drastic action was needed, to […]




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