Speaker biographies

The Role of Human Behaviour Change in a Community Cat Project

Matthew Payne (Cats Protection Community Neutering Officer - North of England and North Wales)

Matthew will provide details about Cats Protection’s Community Neutering Officer role, and the integral part human behaviour change plays in the work he and his colleagues do in target areas throughout the United Kingdom. Matthew will then focus on the work carried out in the area of Ordsall, Salford, where he has been working intensively as part of the Manchester and Salford Community Cat Project. This will include highlighting the specific behaviours he wished to change through this project, as well as the main barriers to neutering which would need to be overcome. Matthew will then talk about the #OrdsallCatsandDogs art project, the reasons behind its development, the highlights of the project and the lessons learned.

Biography: Matthew Payne is the Community Neutering Officer at Cats Protection for the North East and Yorkshire. Matthew has been working in this role for just over 18 months, and has developed and led the Manchester and Salford Community Cat Project for most of this time, before recently moving regions. He is currently in the developmental stages of a new project in Yorkshire. Before joining Cats Protection, Matthew worked as a primary school teacher for over seven years and also volunteered for a number of animal welfare organisations, developing educational initiatives and resources for a global audience.

Using the Behaviour Change Wheel in the Field of Dietary Change

Trent Grassian, University of Kent, Social Policy, UK dtg5@kent.ac.uk

An increasing proportion of people say they are or want to reduce their consumption of animal food products (AFPs), yet consumption continues to grow, threatening future environmental, health and global sustainability.

This presentation will discuss an ongoing PhD research project using the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW), the first comprehensive approach to behaviour change, to better understand the barriers inhibiting and motivators enabling transitions toward more sustainable diets. Working in conjunction with non-profit organisations promoting reduction, the design and preliminary findings from a longitudinal survey and semi-structured focus groups will be explained, in addition to how the BCW has been used to make further policy recommendations.

Biography: Trent Grassian is currently completing his PhD in Social Policy at the University of Kent in the UK, after completing his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Exeter. In a former life, he worked as a Special Needs Education Teacher in California for half a decade after growing up in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a passionate animal advocate, who has volunteered with animals on three continents and spends most of his free time helping others adopt cruelty-free cooking skills and hanging out with his dog, Rigby.

Case studies from The Brooke

Melissa Liszewski, Community Engagement Advisor, The Brooke

In the first of two case study presentations Melissa will cover understanding behaviour through exploring the example of the Brooke’s project in Petra, Jordan, which closes this month after more than 30 years. It is a case of organisational learning that clearly demonstrates what can happen when we do not fully understand or respond to the underlying causes of undesirable behaviours towards animals.

Melissa will then talk about the Brooke’s work in Halaba, Ethiopia, to improve the welfare of some of the neediest animals the charity has seen. Having just returned from the project, Melissa will provide a unique insight into how after four years of trying to engage owners and realise change with limited success, they have been applying the Brooke community engagement theory of change over the past three years and are now seeing some really inspiring results.

Biography: Melissa Liszewski is Community Engagement Advisor at Brooke, an international animal welfare charity working to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries. Her role at Brooke consists of supporting programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to achieve behaviour and social change for animals through their work with equine owning communities. Melissa’s background is in animal science (behaviour and welfare), international development and social science, focusing on understanding how and why people think and feel the way they do about animals in order to positively influence behaviour towards them. Prior to Brooke, Melissa worked on a range of animal welfare projects and programmes around the world, including advising on farm animal advocacy efforts in the United States, initiating an outcomes assessment of primary school animal welfare education in Austria, conducting on-farm welfare assessment in Costa Rica, contributing to community conservation and rehabilitation of rescued gibbons in Thailand and designing and implementing a community-based initiative for working horses in southern Brazil.

Jo has been involved in the equine sector for around 30 years. In 2011 she achieved a lifelong ambition by setting up her own business, Progressive Ideas. Jo’s objective is to deliver positive changes to improve animal welfare through building capacity, creating opportunity and developing motivation among the people and communities involved with animals. 

Facilitator: Jo White, from the HBCA team, will be leading this workshop with input from the Brooke and others regarding their experience of using the various tools and theories that will be discussed. 

Human behaviour change (HBC) is pivotal to Jo’s work, which includes: developing interventions to enable improvements; advocacy work; collecting evidence; providing education and training; campaigning for new policy; and producing communications to aid change. Jo continues to develop her practical and theoretical knowledge and skills. She is currently studying for a Masters in (human) Behaviour Change and is utilising this in the various projects she is involved with. She holds a Degree in Equine Studies, a certificate in Campaigns and teaching, riding and horse care qualifications. 

Jo is committed to developing the field of HBC within animal welfare and the wider animal sector with the aim of ‘making positive change a reality’.

Wednesday 17th May 2017
Exploring Key HBC Frameworks and Principles