Published on June 18, 2019
Have you ever missed an important appointment because you had too much to do and forgot? Given up on properly filling out a public form because it was too cumbersome and hard to understand? Driven a little above the speed limit because all the other drivers were going fast as well?
These are everyday examples of how context and behavioural biases can influence decision-making.
A better understanding of human behaviour can lead to better policies. If you are looking for a more data-driven and nuanced approach to policymaking, then you should consider what actually drives the decisions and behaviours of citizens rather than relying on assumptions of how they should act.
This is exactly what behavioural insights (BI) provides. Drawing from rigorous research from behavioural economics and the behavioural sciences, BI can help public bodies understand why citizens behave as they do and pre-test which policy solutions are the most effective before implementing them at large scale. By integrating BI into policymaking, you can better anticipate the behavioural consequences of your policy and ultimately design and deliver more effective policies that can improve the welfare of citizens.
You can start applying BI to policy now. No matter where you are in the policy cycle, policies can be improved with BI through a process that looks at Behaviours, Analysis, Strategies, Interventions, Change (BASIC). This allows you to get to the root of the policy problem, gather evidence on what works, show your support for government innovation, and ultimately improve policy outcomes. This toolkit guides policy officials through these BASIC stages to start using an inductive and experimental approach for more effective policy making.
The BASIC Framework
The toolkit contains two main components: first, a guidebook that will provide you with an introduction to behaviourally informed policymaking and a brief overview of testing and implementation. This is geared towards policymakers who know the policy problem and context but have limited or even no experience with BI. Second, the BASIC manual provides approaches, proofs of concepts and details on methods for designing and implementing a behaviourally informed policy intervention.
For more information, please contact James Drummond.
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