The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), also known as ‘the Nudge Unit’, is opening two new offices in Singapore and Manchester. BIT, the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences, adds these two new offices to its London and New York operations whilst also expanding its existing team in Sydney.
The opening of the Singapore office in September 2016 is a reflection of the growing interest around the world in how behavioural insights can be used to support the design and implementation of government policy. The Manchester office, opened in May 2016, is working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the NHS.
Manchester is at the forefront of the devolution agenda with four devolution agreements giving them control over areas including health and social care spending, children’s services, planning, skills and criminal justice. BIT’s new office in Manchester is working directly with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) as a foundation client. The office opened in May 2016 and will seek to establish relationships with other partners in the region, for example police forces, NHS trusts and other cities with devolution agreements.
The team will be headed by Felicity Algate, previously the Director for Consumers, Sustainability and Local Government in the London office. Felicity said:
‘The devolution deal with Manchester presents an amazing opportunity to apply behavioural insights at a regional level across a range of policy areas – from health to justice. Creating this new office in Manchester will help us generate significant social impact in an area outside London and the South East.’
Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd said;
‘We’re delighted that the Behavioural Insights Team is working with us and opening an office in Greater Manchester. This is yet another sign that Greater Manchester is seen as a leader when it comes to devolution, innovation and collaborative working. Our track record and vision for Greater Manchester continues to attract people and companies to our city-region.’
Widely recognised for innovative and excellent public services, the Singapore Civil Service has already established a large number of behavioural insight units within its government agencies.
Samuel Hanes, who will head BIT Singapore when it opens on 1st September 2016, said:
“We are excited to have this opportunity to expand our programme of work, and to work with the Singaporean Civil Service which is one of the best in the world. Remaining true to our original objectives we will aim to: make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use; improve outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and wherever possible, enable people to make better choices for themselves.”
After a successful first year, BIT is doubling the size of its Sydney Office, which will work closely with its team in Singapore to deliver projects across the Asia-Pacific. As well as supporting the New South Wales Department of Premier & Cabinet to establish their own successful Behavioural Insights Unit, the Sydney team is now working with states and territories across Australia in the government and not-for-profit sector. In the coming months, the team will also be expanding its reach into New Zealand. Results over the past year include:
- Improving cancer screening and re-screening rates for at-risk populations;
- Increasing physical activity in the workplace through wearable fitness devices;
- Influencing the broader policy debate, for example supporting an innovative “Citizen’s Jury” – a deliberative forum that brought together ordinary citizens to discuss obesity challenges.
Rory Gallagher, Managing Director Australia & Asia-Pacific, who will also oversee BIT Singapore said:
“The year ahead looks very exciting with Behavioural Insight Units and projects being expanded in New South Wales, Victoria and in the Commonwealth. The team is looking forward to working with our partners across the region to tackle complex social and economic policy challenges, such as employment, productivity, educational attainment, domestic violence and reoffending”.
For more information contact our press office on BIT@ukpressoffice.com or call 0800 3688760.