Using the TIPs methodology for IYCF formative research

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Based on the private sector’s consumer product testing methods, The Manoff Group developed Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) to enhance the voice of potential program participants in its formative research on young child feeding in Indonesia 40 years ago. Based on the wealth of insights provided by this method, TIPs is now widely used by many organizations to explore a variety of practices.

In TIPs, a sample of potential program participants help shape and then agree to try proposed practices for a limited period of time. Their experiences, including modifications and opinions about the practices they have tried are used in designing the program. The TIPs method allows program planners to explore not only the determinants of current behaviors, but also the determinants of the new or modified behaviors, taking the guess work out of program design. The TIPs result is a rich understanding of what new behaviors and sub behaviors are most feasible and acceptable, and which motivations require support and which barriers have to be resolved.

In this webinar, Marcia Griffiths provided an overview of what TIPs is (and what it is not) and shared “tips” on how to avoid common pitfalls based on her experience developing and refining the methodology as it has been applied to topics beyond IYCF and with a many different cadre such as caregivers, health care providers and community volunteers.

Melissa Antal and Tom Schaetzel presented their favorite TIPs insights from a recent study in Zimbabwe and showed how the research informed an SBC strategy to improve IYCF practices for Amalima, a Title II Project currently underway in Western Zimbabwe.

Justine Kavle shared how TIPs was used in an implementation research study in Egypt to 1) examine cultural beliefs and perceptions which influence IYCF, and 2) identify and test feasible local solutions to improve IYCF.  Through TIPs, the problem of junk food consumption in toddlers and motivations behind feeding junk foods were identified.  Data on how mothers responded to trying tailored, culturally appropriate recommendations were discussed.  Recommendations for IYCF policy and programs in Egypt, based on these findings, were also shared.

Rae Galloway discussed “The Power of Counseling: Changing Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) and Family Planning (FP) Practices in Dhamar, Yemen”. Results were presented from formative research in Dhamar, Yemen, using Trials of Improved Practices methodology, to identify current MIYCN-FP practices, the reasons for these practices, and the willingness and ability of mothers and couples to try MIYCN-FP-related practices that are new to them.  Next steps and policy implications were discussed.


pdf Trials of Improved Practices: Engaging People, Enhancing Impact
pdf TIPs in the Zimbabwe Amalima Project                                                                                       
pdf Exploring why junk foods are ‘essential’ foods                                                                     
pdf The Power of Counseling


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