What is Positive Deviance?

Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges.

The Positive Deviance approach is an asset-based, problem-solving, and community-driven approach that enables the community to discover these successful behaviors and strategies and develop a plan of action to promote their adoption by all concerned.

Conference participants celebrating a successful Global Positive Deviance Conference in Copenhagen.


Celebrating 25 years of Positive Deviance, join us for the International Positive Deviance Conference: Past, Present and Future. Taking place in Copenhagen from November 1st-3rd, implementers, policy-makers, leaders, facilitators from all around the world will gather to share, network, and get inspired. Register at http://pdcph16.com/.

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Healthcare Journal
Co-authored by Cole Anthony Zanetti and Natalie Taylor, this new scientific paper, "Value co-creation in healthcare through positive deviance," published in the journal Healthcare explores how converging fields of co-creation and positive deviance may increase value in healthcare.

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Written by Catherine Cheney of Devex, this article explores innovative uses of data to drive global development. The growing emphasis on data driven development presents an opportunity for global development professionals to learn from and perhaps even replicate the successes of the best performers within a data set. Photo by: Anders Sandberg / CC BY

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France Harvard Business Review
Written in French by Gregory Le Roy in the France Harvard Business Review, this article examines the methods and ways in which Positive Deviance can be applied in security organizations. When confronted with vital issues in which survival can be engaged in the most extreme cases, organizations must undergo transformations based on radically 

         different rules of the game and aided by Positive Deviance. Photo by: Getty Images

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Youtube - JITMM 2013 Conference Presentation
At the joint international tropical medicine meeting, held in Bangkok in December 2013, Malaria Consortium hosted a symposium on resistance and elimination in the region. Muhammad Shafique describes "positive deviance"-- an asset-based behavior change approach that highlights and encourages positive behaviors within a community. He outlines the process involved in implementing positive deviance projects and examines the impact of the approach to date, which has been applied in almost 40 countries worldwide to address health issues.

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Multimedia Center


Click the thumbnails below to view videos about Positive Deviance. See more videos in our Multimedia Center