Human Change For Animals
projects

Human Behaviour Change for Animals

Oxford, United Kingdom

Human Behaviour Change for Animals (HBCA) is a social enterprise that equips people with skills to improve the world for animals. Recognising that a common cause of animal suffering is human behaviour, the team of animal experts use their knowledge of behaviour change theory and practice to support organisations to increase levels of welfare, protection and conservation.

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HBCA STORY

We first met Jo and Suz in early 2019. A friend had told them about the animal welfare reputation of sankalpa founder, Ruth Layton, and so the pair were keen to talk about a possible collaboration.

‘We had a shared passion for animal welfare and a mutual understanding of the importance of instigating behavioural change.’

HBCA undertakes research, holds training workshops and runs online courses. They also provide consultancy services and bespoke training for organisations such as Cat’s Protection, the UK’s largest feline welfare charity and PDSA, the UK’s leading vet charity. Noting a clear opportunity to share HBCA’s work across farming and aquaculture, sankalpa supported the delivery of an interactive training workshop for senior leaders based within two international companies — Benchmark Plc and FAI Farms. The purpose of the training was to increase the capacity of those working to improve the lives of animals — by developing their understanding of the key principles of human behaviour change and how to apply them.

‘sankalpa funded the work but also enabled it to happen, by putting us all together. Even when the connection isn’t initially obvious — Ruth is amazing at linking together people with shared interests.’

Following the success of the initial sankalpa funded project, HBCA collaborated with FAI farms on a piece of work funded by both sankalpa and Open Philanthropy. The aim of the project, which worked with a group of Brazilian farming stakeholders, was to support improved welfare standards for hens and develop a farmer-led cage-free production group.

‘Utilising HBCA approaches, we put forward recommendations for a workshop in South America. It was essential that people were able to really get involved and share ideas — we co-designed the sessions to be truly interactive.’

As more individuals recognise the value of HBCA’s work and more organisations seek to collaborate, demand for Jo and Suz’s services is rapidly increasing. This heightened demand has resulted in growing levels of administration — preventing them from focusing on developing HBCA’s long-term strategy. 

‘So many grants do not cover core costs — such as salaries, so it is tempting to plan work around available funding, rather than in a strategic way. There’s a common thread with organisations like ours; you have a fantastic idea about doing something for the greater good, but it’s hard to keep energised and innovative when you’re also managing all the day-to-day activity.’

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HBCA TODAY

We recognise the importance of investing in early stage running costs, to allow organisational founders to focus their time on using their skills to develop the long term stability of their businesses. In addition to setting up a mentoring partnership with FAI co-founder Roland Bonney, our support has enabled HBCA to outsource their finance and communications — allowing Jo and Suz to concentrate on rolling out their projects, undertaking new research and developing the future of their business.

‘Access to Ruth and an energised and innovative mentor is gold dust. It’s wonderful for people with that level of experience to make time for us. sankalpa has linked us to fantastic people and has taken a lot of weight off of our shoulders. We don’t want to spend our time updating our website. We can do it, but having someone else to do it gives us the time to do things the right way — to drive HBCA forward in the field as opposed to shoehorning ourselves into the sector.’

sankalpa is a source of inspiration and motivation to people who are also trying to change the world. Talking to the sankalpa team is so inspiring, they understand exactly what we are doing and why. sankalpa has been very supportive in exploring the potential ways that we can collaborate and their unique approach, to developing and building on trusting relationships, to support and enable changemakers — presents us with an exciting opportunity to make an even greater impact.

Jo White, Cofounder Human Behaviour Change for Animals

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