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Press release

Behavioural Insights Applied Live Academy by UK’s Behavioral Insights Team

18th Feb 2020

During a 3-day capacity-building and problem-centered learning workshop representatives from “Work Armenia” working group and public servants will learn the nuances of behavioral experiments.

The Edu2Work project was launched six months ago aiming to bridge the gap between education and labor market through data-driven and human-centered policies as well as help individuals make more informed career choices and be better prepared to enter the labor market.  Today, we have launched a 3-day capacity-building workshop Behavioural Insights Applied Live Academy. RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan, Chargé d’affaires at British Embassy Yerevan Alison Chick, and UNDP in Armenia Resident Representative Dmitry Mariyasin welcomed the participants of the workshop during the opening event.

The renowned Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) is in Armenia within the framework of the project. BIT is designing and implementing behavioral experiments to inform policy and improve public services. The Team has grown from a seven-person unit at the heart of the UK government to a global social purpose company with offices around the world. They have more than 500 randomized control trials in dozens of countries, which often at low or no cost have managed to change people’s behavior or save public spending. For instance, during one of their RCTs, they saved the Courts Service £30 million a year by encouraging people to pay fines.

Being at the intersection of psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, behavioral science allows to generate insights about human emotions, cultural context, and the decision-making process. Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab is using behavioral science to inform public policy in Armenia to achieve better outcomes. They have recently successfully finished their first behavioral intervention in healthcare and have several ongoing experiments in the sectors of environment and taxation.

In parallel to creating an online platform, which will inform on the labour market trends and realities in Armenia, SDG Lab and Institute of Public Policy teamed up with BIT to make the data from the platform more actionable. To design nudges that will best communicate the labour market signals to school children and university students, it is important to understand the behavioral bottlenecks and motivations for two particular breaking points:

  1. Transitioning from school to university
  2. Transitioning from university to the labour market

BIT has joined efforts with the Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab and Institute of Public Policy to design behavioral interventions for these policy challenges. BIT and SDG Lab have carried out fieldwork in Armenia in December 2019, during which initial meetings were held with key stakeholders and beneficiaries in the country.

During this workshop, participants will be introduced to the selected policy challenge (transition from university to the labour market) and will learn about the findings from the BIT scoping mission.

As the SDG Lab Lead Stepan Margaryan mentions: “We are focusing our efforts on mainstreaming innovative public policy making within the Government by providing policymakers with the necessary tools and analytical frameworks to experiment with and assess the effectiveness of different policy options.

During the workshop participants will come up with intervention designs for the pre-selected policy challenge by using BIT methodology. At the end of the workshop, several behavioral intervention ideas will be pitched to the jury panel and the winning idea will be implemented following the workshop. After the workshop, BIT and SDG Lab will continue collaborating on the implementation of two experiments of Edu2Work.

Edu2Work project is implemented by the Institute of Public Policy in partnership with the Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab․ The Project is funded with UK aid from the British people.