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Applying Behavioural Insights

University of Technology Sydney: 
Course Commencement Date
27 Nov 2019

Join the ‘nudge’ frontier of behavioural science. It’s where small tweaks yield big shifts; where data and behavioural economics meet policy innovation. Designed for executives, policy-makers and practitioners, this short course provides step-by-step processes to analyse, strategise and intervene.

Can a small shift greatly affect outcomes? Behavioural insights suggest that subtle changes in the way we frame decision-making can have big impacts on behaviour. Nudge theory and behavioural science are game-changers for policy makers.

Taught by the Behavioural Insights Team’s Sydney office, this tailored three-day workshop develops your expertise in behavioural insights and evaluation methods. Unofficially known as the ‘Nudge Unit’, BIT was set up to apply nudge theory to improve government policy in the UK.

Explore behavioural insights skills and tools to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for people and communities and learn step-by-step processes for analysing policy issues, building strategies and developing informed interventions.

Duration: 3 days
Course dates: 27-29 November 2019
Venue: UTS City Campus, Sydney

Course content

Behavioural insights (BI) draw on research to understand how to influence choices in people’s decision-making. BI focuses on social, cognitive and emotional behaviour, suggesting that subtle changes in the way decisions are framed can have considerable impacts on behaviour.

What will I learn?
You will learn practical skills, such as applying behavioural science and evaluation techniques to public policy challenges. The course covers the BI skills and tools needed to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for individuals and the community. You will also learn how to conduct robust evaluations of policy interventions.

Topic modules include:

  • Applying behavioural insights in government
  • Historical background
  • Key areas of success, limitations and current issues
  • Introduction to the TESTS methodology
  • Designing a behavioural insights project Parts I and II
  • Designing successful solutions
  • Introducing and applying the EAST framework
  • Trial and scale your BI project
  • Group work: Case study research and exploring fieldwork
  • Lessons learned from applying BI in government

Course structure

One month before the short course begins, you will be surveyed by BIT to assess your baseline of knowledge.

The workshop kicks off with the day one outlining program content and warm-up exercises. You will then look at applying BI in government, interventions, methodology and design. 

Day two is about designing BI solutions and evaluating their impact. It begins with a day-before recap and day-ahead outline, then covers designing successful solutions and solution design, trialling and scaling, group work and field work.

Day three is all about managing a BI project. After a recap and outline, it looks at lessons learnt from BI in government, taking nudges to scale, group work preparation, presentations, feedback and course reflection and wrap-up.

Course outcomes

By the end of the three-day workshop, you will understand a range of behavioural insights fundamentals including:

  • Behavioural science in policy
    You will receive a holistic overview of the successes, failures, critiques and future promise of behavioural approaches in government. 
  • Successful solution design
    Improve your chances of designing something that ‘works’, by learning about successful solution design. Includes being aware of backfire effects and whole-of-system considerations.
  • Trial design in practice
    Learn to design a behavioural insights trial, look at common pitfalls experienced, how to adjust when unexpected challenges occur, key elements to worry about for robustness and how to maximise statistical power. 
  • Managing a BI project
    Get equipped with the practical skills and confidence to manage BI projects. We will work through the key stages of a BI project, and guide you on how to juggle the competing needs of policy environments, front-line staff and scientific rigour to deliver an impactful BI project.
  • Evaluation Methods
    Be introduced to a range of techniques available for evaluation, and how these relate to the randomised controlled trial. We will aim to give an intuitive understanding of evaluation methods.

Who should attend?

  • Mid-level to senior public servants seeking to learn the science and art of behavioural insights
  • Government policy-makers
  • Professionals with interest in or some experience in behavioural science, who require additional capacity to effectively apply these skills in government

Course presenters

Rory Gallagher is Managing Director of The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)  across Australia and the Asia-Pacific, and has been with BIT since its inception in 2010. Based in Sydney since November 2012, Rory led the establishment of the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Behavioural Insights Unit – the first Australian agency dedicated to applying BI to public policy – as well as the development of the inaugural Behavioural Exchange Conference (BX2014 Sydney). Rory holds a PhD in health and behaviour change from Cambridge University, and he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Singapore Civil Service College since 2014. Prior to joining BIT, Rory worked in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and the UK Department of Education. He is the co-author of ‘Think Small: The surprisingly simple ways to reach big goals’ (2017).

Rory will be joined by members of the BIT Sydney office who will support the presentation of the course. 

Course Contact Email