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‘Integrate behavioural science into policy-making’
By Imran Mojib February 13, 2018
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DUBAI: The GCC governments need to plan ahead carefully and maximise the efficiency of integrating behavioural science into the policy-making process and to manage its challenges, said experts at the World Government Summit, Dubai, on Monday.

“Globally, governments have adopted various operating models to institutionalise behavioural insights, with differing institutional setups and degrees of behavioural intervention. Each GCC government should start by centralising behavioural insights expertise and assess alternative models as it builds know-how and gains credibility,” said Roy Haddad, Managing Director of WPP Middle East.

He was addressing the media after releasing a report titled “Triggering Change in the GCC through Behavioural Insights” on the sidelines of the WGS 2018. The report is prepared by The Ideation Centre – the leading think-tank for Strategy& Middle East, in association with WPP.

The report highlights that traditional policymaking involving incentives, rules and regulations alone will not be enough to achieve many of the objectives aimed by the governments.

This is because people have cognitive biases – natural tendencies to resist change even against their best interests.

To counter such biases and improve the efficiency of new policies, many countries are integrating behavioural insights into the policymaking process.

Fadi Adra, Partner at Strategy&, said that Integrating behavioral insights into policy design complements conventional policy levers by providing a more realistic understanding of human behaviour.

The report reveals that such behavioural interventions have proven highly effective to achieve public-sector priorities particularly environmental sustainability, healthy lifestyle and civic engagement.

They are relatively inexpensive and easy to adjust for optimal results. However, they should be conducted carefully because they are not automatically replicable in different contexts.

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