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This thought leadership series features leading experts who critically examine the importance and significance of behavioural insights to enhance public policy. They offer cutting-edge perspectives on applying and optimizing behavioural science approaches to shape public policy and make an impact on people and planet.
New empirical evidence indicates that behavioural science can play a critical role in shaping public policy. Policies that are informed by behavioural science leverage insights about human behaviour and decision-making to support the development of innovative interventions that produce more successful outcomes.
Across the globe, leading institutions are applying what is known about behavioural science to drive progress towards climate change, good health and wellbeing, poverty alleviation and more. In spite of the proven benefits of integrating behavioural insights into policy-making, many policymakers and professionals have varying degrees of knowledge about how behavioural science can support their work. This often results in unsuccessful policies and interventions.
Identifying the need to advance behavioural public policy, the UN Secretary-General launched his “Guidance on Behavioural Science” to foster interventions that are driven by behavioural insights. By examining what influences people’s decisions, we can better address some of our most pressing challenges.
Behavioural scientists have established a comprehensive collection of toolkits and methods that are applicable to public policy. The task before us is to consider how these approaches can be applied to construct behaviorally informed policy to drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.