Alcohol Change UK: Exploring the Barriers to Engaging with Alcohol Change UK Behaviour Change Campaigns

Closing Date: 11/10/2021

Opportunity to conduct a research project to examine the barriers to particular groups taking part in ‘Dry January’ and, more broadly, attempting and/or achieving positive changes to their drinking habits.

Alcohol Change UK is a research and support charity formed from the 2018 merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK. Over a 30 year period, Alcohol Change UK and its predecessors have awarded over £24 million in funding to over 900 projects, many of which have made a significant contribution to the evidence base regarding the effects of the use of alcohol.

Alcohol Change UK has issued this Invitation to Tender – Exploring the Barriers to Engaging with Alcohol Change UK Behaviour Change Campaigns – to commission a research project to better understand the barriers people face to taking part in ‘Dry January’ and, more broadly, trying to make positive changes to their drinking, and how such barriers might be overcome.

The purpose for commissioning the research is to explore how the current and future Alcohol Change UK behaviour change offers can overcome barriers that currently prevent reaching a larger and more diverse audience, thereby helping as many people as possible to achieve meaningful, long-term changes to their drinking behaviour.

The project scope focuses on:

  • Dry January’s target audience, namely those drinking more than 14 units a week.
  • At-risk drinkers who are male, from disadvantaged or under-represented groups, including black, Asian and ethnic minorities, and people from areas of low higher education participation, low household income or low socioeconomic status.

It is anticipated that the project will involve:

  • Initial profiling to identify and segment Dry January’s target audience, namely increasing-risk and higher-risk drinkers, to better understand their drinking patterns, motivations for and attitudes to drinking and not drinking alcohol.
  • Psychographic profiling, exploring factors such as their moral, ethical and political values and beliefs, activities and interests, lifestyle choices, outlook, social class, and their distinctive communication needs. The research should seek to answer: how might such factors shape people’s intention and willingness to make changes to their drinking; and how might these factors affect their perceptions of Dry January?
  • Undertaking qualitative research with people from this profile, specifically those who have either not engaged with the official Dry January offer, have previously signed up to Dry January but have not returned, or who have attempted an unsupported Dry January. This should explore how they perceive Dry January currently; whether this perception is a barrier to them signing up to the official Dry January offer and, if so, whether this perception can be changed; whether the official Dry January offer itself is a barrier to them signing up and, if so, how could it change to suit them better; and whether there might be behaviour change challenges or interventions other than Dry January that would be more attractive to them.

The project should approach the research question through a qualitative, rather than quantitative, lens.

Proposals are welcomed that draw on a range of techniques to answer the research questions but it is expected, at a minimum, that much of the findings will be generated from a series of in-depth one-to-one interviews with increasing-risk drinkers (preferred to a focus groups approach).

The output of the project shall be a written report that describes the research in detail, including an executive summary of the main findings. This must include practical recommendations that Alcohol Change UK could implement in current and future behaviour change offers.

Funding body Alcohol Change UK
Maximum value £42,000
Reference ID S22529
Category Economic and Social Research
Medical Research

Fund or call Fund