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Sarah Cotterill, Peter John, Liz Richardson Institute for Political and Economic Governance www.civicbehaviour.org.uk Presentation to Randomised Controlled.

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Presentation on theme: "Sarah Cotterill, Peter John, Liz Richardson Institute for Political and Economic Governance www.civicbehaviour.org.uk Presentation to Randomised Controlled."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sarah Cotterill, Peter John, Liz Richardson Institute for Political and Economic Governance Presentation to Randomised Controlled Trials in the Social Sciences: Evaluating Policy Interventions, York 2009 Pledge campaigns to encourage charitable giving: a randomised controlled trial

2 Overview Literature Review Research design Pilot study Next steps

3 Policy context Climate Change Pledge Schemes Pledgebank.com / We Are What We Do. Local Pledges CLG Community Contracts & Pledgebanks

4 Pledgebanks Desk Review Cotterill & Richardson (2009) Pledgebanks Desk Review Measuring success of pledge campaigns : –Publicise an issue - increase awareness; –Success in attracting pledges (petition); –Collecting data on individuals; –Change behaviour Defra, 2008

5 Pledges and behaviour change Commitment to a type of behaviour can lead people to identify as someone who behaves in that way – and lead to change (Bator and Cialdini 2000) Community Based Social Marketing –Commitments work best if: written down, public, groups, voluntary. –Combine with other marketing approaches (McKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999) Foot-in-the-Door techniques

6 Pledges and behaviour change 2 Observational studies suggest: Asking people to pledge can raise recycling rates - but may just be the personal contact (Reams & Ray 1993; Thomas 2006) Pledging can promote seatbelts (Geller, 1989) and cycle helmets (Ludwig 2005) as part of a promotional campaign. People more likely to stick to a non-smoking pledge if they were already thinking about it (Hallaq et al, 1976) Pledging can encourage voter registration and voter turnout (Greenwald et al 1987 – small experiment)

7 Research Design Can a pledge scheme encourage people to adopt civic behaviour? Research Questions: Are those who are asked to make a pledge more likely to later carry out the activity, compared to people who were not asked to pledge? Does making it public encourage people to pledge and carry out the activity?

8 Outcome measure Needs a civic behaviour that is observable, measurable, available across a large popn; Charitable donation: books Community Heart Children’s books and used mobile phones Measurement issues –Drop-off points; postage –Contamination: provide book/phone bags –Who is the book/phone from - unique identifiers

9 Population Residents in Woodhouse Park, Manchester Postcode list & PO Address Finder - exclude airport & businesses. Sampling unit = Households Approx 4772 households (2001 census) –53% social housing (1950s council estate); 39% owned. –79% house/bungalow; 21% flats 9 th (of 32) most deprived ward in Manchester (2007 IMD)

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11 Randomisation Control Group – invited to donate a children’s book or phone Pledge Group – asked to pledge that they will donate a children’s book or phone Pledge plus Publicity Group - asked to pledge that they will donate a children’s book or phone AND told the list of pledgers/donors will be published

12 POPULATION CONTROL GRP Letter – advertises opportunity to donate book/phone CONTROL Send reminder with enclosed return envelope. Receive books Send thank you and summary info. Check publicity PLEDGE GROUP Same letter plus: “Please return the enclosed pledgecard “ NON-PLEDGERS Same as control Receive books Send thank you and summary info Check publicity PLEDGERS Return completed pledgecard to them Receive books Send thank you and summary info Check publicity PLEDGE & PUBLICITY Same as pledge grp + told list will be posted NON-PLEDGERS Same as control Receive books Send thank you and summary info. Publicise involvement PLEDGERS Return completed pledgecard and remind about publicity Receive books Send thank you and summary info. Publicise involvement

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14 Sample sizes Need to know … –What proportion of control group will donate? –Difference between control and treatment response? –Institute of Fundraising, marketing companies We could guess … … Need to pilot

15 Pilot Study September 2009 Purpose: –Check viability of larger experiment; –estimate group sizes; –test out letters, pledgecards, drop-off arrangements. 163 households in Woodhouse Park Random allocation to 3 groups: –Control Group – asked to donate book/phone –Pledge Group – asked to pledge a donation –Pledge Group – postage paid Drop off at library, community centre or post.

16 Analysis Outcome = % returning a book/phone Treatment = being asked to pledge. So assume Intention to Treat analysis? Analysis at household level Simple comparison between 3 groups –Control, pledge, pledge + publicity

17 Next Steps Depending on outcome of pilot …. Larger experiment November 2009


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