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Psycho-Behavioral Segmentation
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Segmentation Modeling
A psycho-behavioral segmentation approach aims to provide a more nuanced view of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in order to create segment targeted interventions for COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

As there are large variations and complexity in individual tendencies and environments, barriers to COVID-19 vaccination are diverse as well - these can include low risk perception, procrastination, hot state heistency and vaccine skepticism or distrust. Given this diversity, the current one-size fits all approach to vaccination is not enough.

Rather than “generating demand”, the psycho-behavioral segmentation approach aims to activate the “latent demand” which exists in the form of needs, preferences and tendencies. Latent demands can be converted into actual demand with the right context and cues to drive uptake.

A segment targeted approach helps build an understanding of the context, core barriers and drivers for each of the population relevant segments. This understanding can be used to design a diverse range of solutions such as targeted or differentiated communication design and service delivery design to drive vaccine uptake.


Project Objectives

Identify the conscious and non-conscious drivers of hesitancy or aversion towards COVID-19 vaccines and barriers to vaccine confidence and uptake.


Assess the prevalence and clustering of the drivers and barriers in different segments of the population, profiling those segments for affection and actionable solution-targeting.


Strategize on effective levers of behavior change for each segment to boost confidence in and willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccines.


Co-develop segment-targeted solution concepts with governments, implementing partners and local stakeholders supporting vaccine demand and uptake.


Build guidance materials and tools to support implementers and public health authorities to:

  • Understand and use segment profiles and their solutions strategies

  • Effectively adapt and deploy localized interventions to address the barriers to     vaccine confidence and uptake in the dynamic COVID-19 context

Project Outputs

Country-level Psycho-behavioral segmentation strategy

The segmentation strategy is a culmination of qualitative fieldwork to arrive at drivers of hesitancy and behavior profiles, which are then validated and sized through surveys of probability-based representative samples


Psycho-behavioral segmentation strategy:

  • Kenya

  • Burkina Faso

  • Cote D’ivoire

  • Pakistan

Country-level segment-targeted Design Blueprints & Solution Concepts

These design blueprints and concepts will articulate solutions for driving the COVID -19 vaccine uptake that can be locally adapted and implemented by governments and stakeholders. These design interventions will be co-developed with govts. IPls and stakeholders, and rapid tested with the community and frontline workers.


Segment-targeted design blueprints and concepts for localized solutions to drive vaccine uptake for:

  • Kenya

  • Burkina Faso

  • Cote D’ivoire

  • Pakistan

Guidance and Support tools

Tools will be designed to support implementers and public health authorities to comprehensively understand the segment profiles and solutions strategy, and to help them effectively adapt and deploy localized interventions to address the barriers to vaccine confidence and uptake in the dynamic COVID context

Consolidated Global Vaccine Hesitancy Output

The outputs from all focus geographies will be synthesized to build a consolidated framework of vaccine hesitancy segments and targeted solutioning strategy







Design Research and Outputs


Dissemination and Support



OCT - DEC 2021

Planning & Stakeholder Engagement

Engage with various stakeholders and partners to understand the context, needs, and gaps in knowledge. Build partnerships and alignment on problem-framing and field recruitment

DEC 2021 - MAR 2022

Formative Qualitative Research

Understand the COVID-19 context, vaccine mental models and decision drivers and barriers to COVID-19 vaccine uptake through in-depth interviews and context mapping with end users

Quantitative Research & Segmentation

Measure the prevalence, variations and clustering of decision drivers and barriers to COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the population

MAR- APR 2022

Strategy & Co-creation

Facilitate collaborative workshops with key stakeholders to align on focus segments. Co-create and prioritize solution concepts that will be further developed

Qualitative Design Research

Test usability with psycho-behavioral segments and health system stakeholders to gain feedback on solution design concepts and prototypes

Design Blueprints Creation

Synthesize findings of all research phases to identify pathways to vaccine confidence and willingness for different behavioral segments of the population

MAY 2022

Implementation Support

Embed project research learnings within public health systems to ensure effective deployment of solutions


Deep dive into mixed-method quantitative segmentation: psycho-behavioral segmentation

Psycho-behavioral segmentation involves dividing people into groups based on what they do—in other words, their behaviors—and on the motivations, beliefs, and other factors influencing why they behave the way they do. The segmentation captures differences within a population that are clear, discrete (as non-overlapping as possible), relevant to the behavior of interest, and actionable, in order to create targeted interventions, and it enables researchers to track these segments over time and characterize their key drivers. Messages or interventions targeted to such segments have the best chance of success.


Psycho-behavioral market segmentation has been shown to be superior to purely demographic segmentation, yet it is largely missing from global development programs, despite calls to adopt it from public health researchers and social scientists. Most development programs have been successful in developing solutions such as new drugs or vaccines, and in delivering health services even to the most remote locations, yet they falter when faced with people who don’t access services or adopt behaviors that will improve their lives. Segmentation can help improve engagement with and uptake of development programs by aligning supply and services with latent demand.

There are many approaches to segmentation. Our approach is a post hoc segmentation, which defines groups by using machine learning to cluster data across a multidimensional set of quantitative data that is representative of the population in question and measures variables predictive of the issue of concern. Post hoc segmentation is robust, nuanced and highly predictable of needs, wants and behaviors, but it can be costly to develop and require more sophistication to use than other forms of segmentation.

The application of behavioral insights is often limited to the design of messaging and communications. But psycho-behavioral segmentation can enable a much broader actionability.

Communication Design

  • Customized interpersonal communications - typing tool and custom messaging

  • Targeted mass communications - framing that elicits self-selected attention

Service Delivery Design

  • Customized experiences, spaces and incentives

Policy Decisions

  • Identifying and addressing vulnerabilities

  • Identifying and addressing gaps in intervention landscape

  • Identifying short-term and long-term opportunities

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Adding a psycho- behavioral layer to programmatic data by capturing segment profiles of users

Typing Tool

The Typing tool is a ‘mini survey’ that contain 3-4 simple questions that can enable the identification of an individual’s segment profile based on their responses. Artificial intelligence/machine learning tools are used to create segment typing tools.


This tool can be used at point of service delivery to tailor communications and protocols based on an individual’s segment profile. The typing tool can also be used for monitoring the engagement of different segments and to conduct mini-surveys to assess segment distribution at hyperlocal level.

Targeting using Typing Tool

Short, simple questionare and response-based classification tree to identify the segment profile of individuals.


Customized Communication at Point of Service Delivery

Segment: Anxious
Typing Tool Script


“Hello, I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to learn more about you so that I can provide you with some information about the COVID-19 vaccine that could be relevant for you.


To begin, could you share how many times you have visited a doctor or clinic within the last five years?


The past few years have been difficult for a lot of us with COVID. Could you tell me a little bit about your experience over the last two years? Did you have any difficulty paying for your basic needs?


Thank you for sharing. We have received a lot of information about COVID from many sources. Now if you could think about the government and doctors as sources of information for COVID, do you trust them a little, a lot, or not at all?


Thank you. Finally, could you let me know which of the following statements about COVID you agree with? [read through the four statements]”

Customized Communication


“Thank you again for your time and for answering my questions. I’d like to talk to you about the COVID vaccine. Can you tell me a little bit about your thoughts about the COVID vaccine?


A lot of people have concerns about the safety of the COVID vaccine, and that is natural. It is a new vaccine, and it has been difficult living in a pandemic. Can you let me know what concerns you have about the vaccine?


[Address any of these concerns, explaining in terms easy to understand. Be certain to listen for and address any misinformation about the vaccine., especially side effects, that they may share]


Thank you for letting me share a bit about the COVID vaccine. Do you have any questions for me?”

Intro to differentiated designs

Within larger campaigns, when specific messages are appropriately aligned to a segments  underlying, often inexplicit drivers of latent demand, then the person is intrinsically driven to engage with the product, without any external pushes or influences.

People are driven to pay attention and engage with the messages that are relevant to them. This outcome is referred to as ‘self-selected attention’ and is the key to by-passing the heavy-touch demand-generation process.

Self-Selected Attention

The Hopeful
The Relieved
The Anxious
The Doubtful
The Indifferent

Where and how to deliver services and incentives

When thinking about service delivery, we want to design experiences that meet segments where they are at and address the concerns they have. This should include understanding where to find them (ie where they spend their time), what emotions they have at the point of service delivery and common barriers such as lack of trust in health system and concerns with maintaining confidentiality.

At health facilities

  • Integrate with routine health services

  • Leverage provider interactions

In public spaces

  • Travel-related touchpoints

  • Educational and professional spaces

  • Community spaces

  • Recreational spaces

  • Champions and advocates

Mandates and incentives

  • Travel mandates

  • Workplace mandates

  • Economic incentives

Policy Decision-Making

Segmentation framework can inform evidence-based policy decisions

  • Samples are nationally representative

  • Vulnerable populations can be mapped and targeted

  • Opportunities and gaps in intervention portfolio can be identified


Mapping Vulnerabilities And Portfolio Mapping Help Make Policy Decisions

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