Behavioral Insights and Public Policy: Training for Civil Servants

How can we enhance the effectiveness of public policy and improve public services with the help of behavioral science? A series of training sessions for civil servants conducted in collaboration with the UNDP Accelerator Lab and BISC Partners.

In collaboration with the United Nations Accelerator Lab (UNDP Accelerator Lab), the BISC Partners team developed the course ‘Behavioral Insights and Public Policy.’ As part of the project, five training sessions were conducted in December 2023, with the participation of approximately one hundred civil servants.

The objective of the training sessions is to assist Georgian civil servants in capacity building and the development of public policy by using behavioral science and behavioral insights.

In order to ensure policy outcomes, public institutions often rely on traditional levers of behavior change – legislation, sanction, taxation, etc. However, these levers alone cannot tackle those policy problems which require sustained changes in social norms and citizen behavior. Behaviorally informed policies and programs are highly effective in various areas of public policy such as safety, health, environment, justice, consumer protection, education, transportation and others.

Behavior Insights (BI) is an evidence based multidisciplinary approach that incorporates elements from behavioral science, behavioral economics, anthropology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology. By combining these elements and empirically verifying the results, this approach determines how humans actually make decisions.

Because of that, the objective of these training sessions is to acquaint civil servants from diverse institutions with scientifically proven and practically tested effective tools. The aim is to enhance their performance, improve the effectiveness of state policies and services, and make them more impactful by incorporating behavioral insights.

The BISC Partners team also developed a guide and toolkit for public officials – “Introduction to Behavior Analysis Methodology”, which was provided electronically to the training participants.

The training was part of UNDP’s two key initiatives: the UK-funded “Supporting Public Administration Reform in Georgia” and the Accelerator Lab, backed by Germany and Qatar.


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