The Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) approach permits very rapid formative research for policy formation and social and behavior change programming. TIPs’ roots lie in ethnography and commercial marketing. It is initiated after qualitative, often ethnographic, formative research and is based on those research results. TIPs focuses on behavior and what people can and are willing to do; in this case, to support an improved solid waste management (SWM) system. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program, we conducted TIPs in Samaná Province, Dominican Republic, after completing a qualitative study of households and waste. We followed the TIPs sample as members tried out their chosen new behaviors, for example, waste segregation, over the course of a week. Most people felt empowered through segregating waste, perhaps because the qualitative study revealed that most residents felt dispirited and hopeless about the waste in their environment.

This content is only available as a PDF.