This example demonstrates how the IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab integrates behavioral science and human-centered design to develop scalable solutions to humanitarian problems. On their own, these approaches have been leveraged in a variety of contexts across the world — what is unique about the Airbel approach is bringing them together.
HXLDash is a dashboard and online mapping tool designed for humanitarians and humanitarian contexts. HXLDash's aim is to make creating dashboards possible in less than 2 minutes by leveraging the power of the Humanitarian Exchange Language and linking to the common operation datasets.
We realized we were using insider language to describe innovation (as exemplified by internal blog post titles like “Using GIS Technology to Map Shelter Allocation in Azraq Refugee Camp”), rather than communicating what innovation looks like and the benefits it would bring to UNHCR staff (for example, “How UNHCR Used Creativity to Improve Journalistic Accuracy and Collaboration, One Step at a Time”). So, we hit the reset button and asked ourselves these four questions before crafting our internal communications strategy:
What do we want to change? What do we want to be true that isn’t true right now?
Whose behavior change is necessary to making that happen? Who has to do something (or stop doing something) they’re not doing now for us to achieve that goal? (This is about targeting a narrowly defined audience whose action or behavioral change is fundamental to your goal.)
What would that individual or group believe if they took that action? In other words, what does that narrowly defined audience care about most, and how can we include that in our messages?
How will we get that message in front of them? Where are their eyes?
This chapter illustrates how the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and
the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) have successfully employed behavioural
insights. Using such learning, the chapter lays out an ambitious agenda for
social change: (i) from BBBP to BADLAV (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay
Lakshmi); (ii) from Swachh Bharat to Sundar Bharat; (iii) from “Give it up” for
the LPG subsidy to “Think about the Subsidy”; and (iv) from tax evasion to tax
compliance. First, a key principle of behavioural economics is that while people’s
behaviour is influenced significantly by social norms, understanding the drivers of
these social norms can enable change. In India, where social and religious norms
play such a dominant role in influencing behaviour, behavioural economics can
therefore provide a valuable instrument for change. So, beneficial social norms
can be furthered by drawing attention to positive influencers, especially friends/
neighbours that represent role models with which people can identify. Second,
as people are given to tremendous inertia when making a choice, they prefer
sticking to the default option. By the nearly costless act of changing the default
to overcome this inertia, desired behaviour can be encouraged without affecting
people’s choices. Third, as people find it difficult to sustain good habits, repeated
reinforcements and reminders of successful past actions can help sustain changed
This report aims to capture both the spread and form of behavioral
science in 10 countries, selected based on being innovators or early
adopters in the field: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany,
Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, the U.S., and the UK. We hope that
the experiences of these ten countries – including information on
As of November
2018, there are at
least 202 public
entities all over
the world applying
to their policies
COUNTRY PROFILES - INTRODUCTION — 07 —
how public bodies within these countries are integrating behavioral
insights, how they are working to apply behavioral insights, and
how these behavioral functions have been structured and staffed
– can serve as useful information for all those working to leverage
behavioral science to improve society. Given the expansion of
behavioral science within governments; the shifting behavioral
insights landscape; and the limit to, and wide distribution of, public
information; this report presents a representative snapshot of the
state of behavioral science within the governments of the profiled
As noted here, common principles underlie and unify many key features of human behaviour. A quick guide - "SIMPLER" - articulates a set of common "nudges" that can be used to improve programme outcomes and efficiency:
Social influence - e.g., persuade by referencing peers
Implementation prompts - e.g., establish steps to desired action
Mandated deadlines - e.g., make deadlines prominent
Personalisation - e.g., use name, not generic greeting
Loss aversion - e.g., emphasise losses, not just gains
Ease - e.g., reduce steps in a process
Reminders - e.g., use phone calls, texts, postcards
The global community is committed to preventing the deaths of millions of mothers and children by 2020. USAID identified 10 Accelerator Behaviors that would get us there faster if practiced widely in 24 priority countries. Use this site to find out how to integrate Accelerator Behaviors into your health programming.
Earlier this year, a group of organisations who work together on global equity issues asked a question: can the public conversation about global development be changed to foster a more positive understanding of the issues?
To find a new approach, these organisations created The Narrative Project: a research and communications effort focused on changing the development narrative in the United Kingdom, United States, France and Germany.
The user guide is designed to be an informative tool for communicators and advocates who want to apply The Narrative Project approach to their own messages and content.