Keeping Wales Safe: Covid Behaviours Programme

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The public sector in the UK currently faces an unprecedented health challenge navigating the constantly changing landscape created by the pandemic. In Wales, the government have been focussing on a key question:  how do policy makers actively partner and work with populations and communities across Wales to reinforce messages and manage and respond to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic?

With that question in mind, the Welsh Government, in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), Cardiff University’s Y Lab, the public services innovation lab for Wales, and the People Powered Results (PPR) team at Nesta, are working together to test a bespoke approach that brings together behavioural insights, academic research and practical place-based co-design and testing.

Keeping Wales Safe: Covid Behaviours, launched in June 2021, works with stakeholders, including Test, Trace, Protect and public health teams to examine effective interventions around:

  • Self-isolation: including ways to remove barriers to testing and isolating, including support for people during self-isolation
  • Risk reduction: encouraging people to better understand their risk of catching and spreading Covid-19 and how to reduce their risk while still feeling safe and able to engage in society

Place-based testing

We are working in partnership with three place-based teams to identify target behaviours and develop interventions to change them:

Powys Team wants to increase agricultural workers’ adherence to the Test, Trace, and Protect scheme by encouraging young farmers/agricultural workers to test habitually. Local evidence suggested that agricultural workers were facing a difficult dilemma when being asked to self-isolate when the ramifications of missing work could be severe. In tight-knit communities there have been incidents of super-spreader events that can be traced back to one or two people.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg want to reduce Covid-19 transmission amongst men aged 20-29 by increasing the uptake of PCR testing at the onset of symptoms. Throughout the pandemic, the first case rises occurred among young males more likely to be working and mixing with more contacts. Reducing Covid-19 spread in this group could reduce the broader risk to people in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area.

Gwent want to encourage increased awareness among 16-18 year olds of both when/how to test, and also how to effectively prepare for self-isolation. Case numbers continue to rise in young people as they mix in schools again, with the level of mitigations in place different across educational settings. Young people are also currently less likely to have been vaccinated.

National ‘Predictiv’ testing

Predictiv is the Behavioural Insight Team’s online experiment platform. In this project, we are using it to test some key risk reduction messages in Wales. As in the rest of the UK, Wales is moving away from a rules-based approach to a guidance-based approach. Consequently, the public will be less exposed to obvious environmental reminders of coronavirus risk, such as lockdowns or restrictions on gatherings. Instead, people will have to rely on their own judgement in making risk based decisions. It is therefore important to maintain and improve the accuracy with which people in Wales interpret the risk of catching and spreading covid-19.

Our principal assumption is that if people better understand how covid-19 transmits, they will be better placed to make informed judgements about risk and decide how to engage as safely as possible in economic and social activity. To test this, we are running a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of different messaging. The results will be reported directly to the Welsh Government and will inform their future communications to the Welsh population.

Wider ambitions

The unique partnership of BIT, PPR and Y Lab provides a powerful combination of research methods, techniques and approaches for teams to work with to identify effective ways of supporting people to adopt risk reducing behaviours that combat the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the impact of the virus on recovery.

The learning generated by the programme will underpin ambitions to scale and spread interventions across Wales. It will be shared so that others can understand and utilise behavioural insights tools and techniques, build academic insight into their thinking and consider what a person-centred intervention might look like to an action phase of testing and prototyping.

Timescales and Next Steps

The testing phase is due to draw to a close at the end of 2021. Attention will then turn to sustainability. Teams will be supported to generate learning and investigate opportunities for scale at local and national levels. The work of all three teams will be reviewed with the Welsh Government, expert colleagues and stakeholders to establish the potential for scale and spread across Wales.

The wider programme team will reflect on the blended approach taken by The Behavioural Insights Team, People Powered Results and Y Lab as an effective way to tackle complex challenges presented by the pandemic or more widely in other settings or contexts.

The wider team will also work with the Welsh Government and stakeholders, to implement any recommendations from the work and identify opportunities to share learning from the programme more widely.


Ar hyn o bryd, mae’r sector cyhoeddus yn wynebu her iechyd na welwyd ei thebyg o’r blaen wrth lywio’r dirwedd sy’n newid yn gyson a grëwyd gan y pandemig. Yma yng Nghymru, mae’r llywodraeth wedi bod yn canolbwyntio ar gwestiwn allweddol: sut mae llunwyr polisïau’n mynd ati i bartneru a gweithio gyda phoblogaethau a chymunedau ledled y wlad i atgyfnerthu negeseuon a rheoli ac ymateb i’r heriau parhaus sy’n cael eu cyflwyno gan y pandemig?

Gyda’r cwestiwn hwnnw mewn golwg, mae Llywodraeth Cymru, mewn partneriaeth â’r Tîm Deall Ymddygiad, Y Lab ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, sef labordy arloesi gwasanaethau cyhoeddus Cymru a thîm Canlyniadau Pŵer Pobl yn Nesta, yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd i brofi dull arloesol sy’n cyfuno mewnwelediadau ymddygiadol, ymchwil academaidd a dulliau cyd-gynllunio a phrofi ymarferol yn seiliedig ar leoliad.

Mae Diogelu Cymru: Ymddygiadau Covid, a lansiwyd ym mis Mehefin 2021, yn gweithio gyda rhanddeiliaid, gan gynnwys Profi, Olrhain, Diogelu a thimau iechyd y cyhoedd, i archwilio ymyriadau effeithiol o ran:

  • Hunan-ynysu: gan gynnwys ffyrdd o gael gwared ar rwystrau i brofi ac ynysu, a chymorth i bobl yn ystod cyfnod o hunan-ynysu
  • Lleihau risg: annog pobl i ddeall yn well eu risg o ddal a lledaenu Covid-19 a sut i leihau eu risg gan ddal i deimlo’n ddiogel ac yn barod i gymryd rhan mewn cymdeithas

Profi ar sail lle

Rydyn ni’n gweithio mewn partneriaeth â thri thîm sy’n seiliedig ar le i nodi ymddygiadau targed a datblygu ymyriadau i’w newid:

Mae Tîm Powys am gynyddu ymlyniad gweithwyr amaethyddol â’r cynllun Profi, Olrhain, Diogelu drwy annog ffermwyr ifanc/gweithwyr amaethyddol i brofi’n rheolaidd. Roedd tystiolaeth leol yn awgrymu bod gweithwyr amaethyddol yn wynebu cyfyng-gyngor anodd wrth orfod hunan-ynysu pan allai goblygiadau methu gweithio fod yn ddifrifol. Mewn cymunedau clòs, mae achosion o archledaenu wedi bod sy’n bosib eu holrhain i un neu ddau o bobl.

Mae Cwm Taf Morgannwg am leihau trosglwyddiad Covid-19 ymhlith dynion 20-29 oed drwy gynyddu’r nifer sy’n cymryd prawf PCR pan fyddan nhw’n dechrau cael symptomau. Drwy gydol y pandemig, digwyddodd y cynnydd o achosion cyntaf ymhlith dynion ifanc oedd yn fwy tebygol o fod yn gweithio ac yn cymysgu â mwy o gysylltiadau. Gallai lleihau lledaeniad Covid-19 yn y grŵp yma leihau’r risg ehangach i bobl yn ardal Cwm Taf Morgannwg.

Mae Gwent eisiau codi rhagor o ymwybyddiaeth ymhlith pobl ifanc 16-18 oed o ran pryd a sut i wneud prawf, a hefyd sut i baratoi yn effeithiol ar gyfer hunan-ynysu. Mae nifer yr achosion yn parhau i gynyddu ymhlith pobl ifanc wrth iddyn nhw gymysgu mewn ysgolion eto, gyda lefelau gwahanol o fesurau lliniaru ar waith ar draws lleoliadau addysgol. Mae pobl ifanc hefyd yn llai tebygol o fod wedi cael eu brechu ar hyn o bryd.

Profion ‘Predictiv’ cenedlaethol

Llwyfan arbrofol ar-lein y Tîm Deall Ymddygiad yw Predictiv. Yn y prosiect yma, rydyn ni’n ei ddefnyddio i brofi negeseuon lleihau risg allweddol yng Nghymru. Fel gweddill gwledydd Prydain, mae Cymru yn symud i ffwrdd o ddull sy’n seiliedig ar reolau at ddull sy’n seiliedig ar ganllawiau. O ganlyniad, bydd y cyhoedd yn gweld llai o ddulliau atgoffa amgylcheddol am beryglon coronafeirws, fel cyfyngiadau symud neu gyfyngiadau ar ymgynnull. Yn hytrach, bydd yn rhaid i bobl ddibynnu ar eu gallu eu hunain i farnu wrth wneud penderfyniadau ar sail risg. Felly, mae’n bwysig cynnal a gwella cywirdeb pobl Cymru yn dehongli’r risg o ddal a lledaenu Covid-19.

Ein prif dybiaeth yw, os bydd pobl yn deall yn well sut mae trosglwyddo Covid-19, yna byddan nhw mewn lle gwell i ddod i farn wybodus am risg a phenderfynu sut i gymryd rhan mor ddiogel â phosibl mewn gweithgarwch economaidd a chymdeithasol. I brofi hyn, rydyn ni’n cynnal hap-dreial rheoledig i brofi pa mor effeithiol yw negeseuon gwahanol. Bydd y canlyniadau’n cael eu hadrodd yn uniongyrchol i Lywodraeth Cymru a byddan nhw’n sail i’w gwaith cyfathrebu â phobl Cymru yn y dyfodol.

Uchelgeisiau ehangach

Mae’r bartneriaeth unigryw rhwng Tîm Deall Ymddygiad, Y Lab a Canlyniadau Pŵer Pobl yn darparu cyfuniad pwerus o ddulliau ymchwil, technegau ac ymdriniaethau i dimau weithio gyda nhw i nodi ffyrdd effeithiol o gefnogi pobl i fabwysiadu ymddygiadau lleihau risg sy’n atal lledaeniad Covid-19 ac yn lleihau effaith y firws ar waith adfer.

Bydd yr hyn a ddysgir drwy’r rhaglen yn sail i uchelgeisiau i ehangu a defnyddio ymyriadau ledled Cymru. Bydd yn cael ei rannu fel y gall eraill ddeall a defnyddio offer a thechnegau mewnwelediadau ymddygiadol, meithrin mewnwelediad academaidd i’w ffordd o feddwl ac ystyried sut olwg o bosib fydd ar ymyrraeth sy’n canolbwyntio ar bobl yn ystod y cam gweithredu profi a phrototeipio.

Amserlen a’r Camau Nesaf

Disgwylir i’r cyfnod profi ddod i ben ar ddiwedd 2021. Yna, bydd y sylw yn troi at gynaliadwyedd. Bydd timau’n cael eu cefnogi i ddysgu ac i ymchwilio i gyfleoedd i ehangu ar lefelau lleol a chenedlaethol. Bydd gwaith y tri thîm yn cael ei adolygu gyda Llywodraeth Cymru, cydweithwyr arbenigol a rhanddeiliaid er mwyn sefydlu’r posibilrwydd ar gyfer ei ehangu a’i ddefnyddio ledled Cymru.

Bydd tîm ehangach y rhaglen yn myfyrio ar y dull cyfunol a fabwysiadwyd gan y Tîm Deall Ymddygiad, Y Lab a Chanlyniadau Pŵer Pobl fel ffordd effeithiol o daclo heriau cymhleth a gyflwynir gan y pandemig neu’n ehangach mewn lleoliadau neu gyd-destunau eraill.

Bydd y tîm ehangach hefyd yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru a rhanddeiliaid i weithredu unrhyw argymhellion o’r gwaith ac i nodi cyfleoedd i rannu’r hyn a ddysgwyd o’r rhaglen yn ehangach.

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