A New Framework for Applying Behavioural Insights

Applied behavioural science is here to stay

The application of Behavioural Insights in Public Policy, i.e. Behavioural Public Policy, has definitely come to stay. Reports such as MINDSPACE, EAST and Test, Learn and Adapt as well as the brilliant case collection Behavioural Insights and Public Policy published by the OECD has spurred the interest and motivation of public policy makers and behavioural scientists alike.

BASIC© closes gap in the literature

Little, beyond inspiration, has, however, been written about how to actually apply Behavioural Insights in Public Policy; that is, about the processes, tools and challenges through which a BI-project usually progresses.

In particular, almost nothing has been written about how BI-specialists approach a policy issue in behavioural terms, as well as identifies suitable Behavioural Insights to apply in order to ensure an effective and responsible policy intervention.

To close this gap, Pelle Guldborg Hansen (Behavioural Scientist at Roskilde University and CE of iNudgeyou) and Karsten Schmidt (Roskilde University and Associate Researcher at iNudgeyou) recently published a new framework for applying behavioural insights in the Journal ‘Politik & Økonomi’.

The framework is called BASIC©: A Diagnostic Approach to the Development of Behavioural Public Policy and is a result of the almost 10 years of work with Behavioural Insights, that Pelle and Karsten have carried out as part of their university research and their work at iNudgeyou.

What is BASIC©?

Like EAST and MINDSPACE, BASIC is an acronym. It stands for ‘Behaviour’, ‘Analysis’, ‘Solution’, ‘Intervention’ and ‘Continuation’.

BASIC© is intended to provide prospective BI-specialists with a detailed framework for developing Behavioural Public Policy from the beginning to the end of a BI-project. It does this by presenting tools for:

  • identifying and conceptualising relevant policy issues in terms of BEHAVIOUR,
  • ANALYSING the behavioural challenges targeted,
  • identifying the relevant Behavioural Insights to apply as potential SOLUTIONS,
  • field-testing solutions through INTERVENTON based on proper experimental designs, and finally,
  • implementing effective solutions as Behavioural Public Policies through a structured phase called CONTINUATION.

BASIC© is not only distinguished from earlier frameworks like MINDSPACE and EAST by encompassing the whole process involved in BI-projects. It also distinguishes itself by being diagnostic – a feature captured in BASIC© by means of a theoretical framework which systematically relates the ANALYSIS of BEHAVIOR to that of identifying what Behavioural Insights to apply as potential SOLUTIONS.

Comprehensive version of BASIC© coming

The paper mentioned above is a conceptual paper and therefore mainly accessible to those already quite familiar with applying Behavioural Insights in Public Policy (in addition it is published in the journal Politik & Økonomi in Danish).

Fortunately, in 2018 a much more comprehensive and detailed version of BASIC©, including tools and ethical guidelines, will be made accessible for prospective BI-specialists as part of a toolkit for policy makers that will be developed in a collaboration between the OECD and Roskilde University.

If you can’t wait, you are lucky. BASIC© is the backbone of our successful Masterclass in Nudging where we through the past 2 years, have had the pleasure of lecturing both Danish and international policy makers, practitioners and academicians.

You can read more about the masterclass here:

BASIC© is the backbone of our masterclass

Read more about our masterclass if you are interested in the practical application of behavioural science.

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