Behavioural by Design Toolkit

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Tools to think like a behavioural scientist
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Behavioural science & design frameworks
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Canvases
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THE METHOD

5 STEPS to behavioural innovation

A behavioural approach for solving your most pressing communication, policy or design challenges.

This process integrates methodologies from behavioural science and design thinking to create meaningful change at the individual or system level.

Along with 24 PATHWAYS, this is your go-to tool for behavioural innovations.

0. Start your own project

1. Explore hidden influences

2. Identify change opportunities

3. Co-create behavioural ideas

4. Experimental design

5. Incremental innovation

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STEP 0

Start your own behavioural science project

Mindset. Embrace the unknown

Method. As we begin our behavioural innovation journey, we get comfortable stating things we know and things we don’t know. When we see missing pieces in our puzzle, we can better understand our blindspots. Conducting field interviews, desk research, literature reviews and in-situ observations are useful research tools to help us fill in the gaps.

Check-in guide. What assumptions, biases and worldviews are we bringing in? Who is missing from this conversation?

STEP 1

Explore hidden influences

Mindset. Shine the light on the unseen forces that influence our behaviours

Method. Through this canvases, we collate the diversity of factors that impact people's experiences. The COM-B model surfaces the enablers and blockers for behaviour change. This can be synthesised from current research, data insights and collective experience of teams. When there is not sufficient evidence to address these questions, start with some qualitative and/or quantitative research to understand the factors that influence behaviour change.

Check-in guide. How is the local context relevant, and what are the implications?

COM-B Factors Handbook


The COM-B model highlights to change people's behaviour, they need the right levels of Capability (C-Factor) and Opportunity (O-Factor), along with sufficient Motivation (M-Factor). The interconnected interactions between these factors influences behaviours.

Source: Michie, S., Van Stralen, M. M., & West, R. (2011). The behaviour change wheel: a new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions.

Download Handbook
(Print & Fold)
STEP 2

Identify change opportunities

Mindset. Strength-based approach to flip your challenges into opportunities

Method. Frame the challenges as “How Might We” (HMW) statements using the EAST framework. The intention is to flip your complex challenges into smaller opportunities for behaviour change with this template. 

A well defined “How Might We” statement doesn’t suggest a particular solution, but gives you a strong foundation for generating creative ideas.

Check-in guide. What’s already working well that we can strengthen?

STEP 3

Co-create behavioural ideas

Mindset. The quantity of ideas matters more than the quality of ideas.

Method. This can start with adopting “24 PATHWAYS for behaviour change” to co-create behaviourally informed ideas with participants. There are no rules to creative thinking ! But there is duty of care to design 'with' people rather than 'for' them, or even worse ‘at’ them. Bring your customers, citizens and communities into the process where possible. Get feedback on your ideas to understand what sits well and what needs improvement.

Check-in guide. What matters to the people impacted by this behaviour change idea?

24 PATHWAYS for behaviour change


Explore behavioural insights derived from decades of academic research and case-studies synthesised using the COM-B model. Every pathways identifies a unique strategy for enabling behaviour change.

You can follow these simple guidelines:

1.
Select one "How might we" statement from STEP 2 with a clear target audience and behaviour that you are seeking to change
e.g. How might we make it easy for conscious customers to buy from sustainable businesses?

2. Pick at least one black and one green strategy card/filter. List the pathways for change under these strategy cards

3. Use the thought-starters in these pathways to springboard behavioural ideas that enable people to shift their behaviour.

See 24 PATHWAYS

Canvas. Co-create behavioural ideas

Use cases: Generate new ideas
Material:
Canvas and 24 PATHWAYS for behaviour change
Recommended time:
1.5 to 2 hours
Participants:
Core working team, diverse stakeholders and always seek to include customers/citizens/community in the co-creation process
STEP 4

Experimental design

Mindset. Flex your humility.

Method. Let’s experiment! Data is your friend. Write down your assumptions and how you plan to go about testing them. This could range from A/B testing, to workshops to a Randomised Control Trial (RCT). Capture your learnings about what worked and what didn’t, to build a database of experiments others can learn from. Stating what we want to find out, and testing whether our ideas actually translate to change in the real world. 

Check-in guide. How can we ensure we are reaching diverse audiences, not just the ‘easiest’ to reach?

Statistical techniques to evaluate impact

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs): The key feature of an RCT is the use of a random assignment to create at least two groups that closely resemble each other. The only difference is that one group is exposed to the new strategy while the other does not. By comparing identical groups, chosen at random, an RCT enables you to understand which strategies, if any, are working, and eliminate pre-existing or external factors that normally complicate the evaluation process. But random allocation may not always be logistically, ethically or politically feasible. Examples of valuable quasi-experimental designs include: 

Regression discontinuity (RD): where participants are assigned to intervention and control groups based on a cut point of an assignment variable. The discontinuity between the intervention and control trends is then measured. 

Propensity score matching (PSM): where participants in the intervention group are paired to participants in the control group based on the similarity of their scores to account for selection bias. 

Difference in differences: where the effect of an intervention is estimated by comparing the pre- and post-intervention differences in the outcome in the treatment and control group.

Source: Hansen, P. G. (2019). Tools and Ethics for Applied Behavioural Insights: The BASIC Toolkit. Organisation for Economic Cooporation and Development, OECD.

Canvas. Experiment Card

Use cases: Set and refine your hypothesis
Material:
Experiment Card
Recommended time:
30 minutes to 1 hour
Participants:
Core working team
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