Day 1 Stream Sessions – The Fundamentals 

The fundamental elements that are critical in developing behavioural insights trials are the three D’s: Data, Design and Delivery. Select a stream to hear senior policymakers, academics, and practitioners talk about their experience and specific case studies.

Stream 2 - Design


Ms Jane Treadwell, former Chief Executive Officer, DesignGov 

  • View Jane Treadwell's presentation (PDF)
  • Design thinking is a disciplined set of actions that takes us from the current state to a desired future state. Design is an evolutionary way towards perfection, but not perfection—you can’t get it right the first time, which is why you need to do testing and prototyping. Iterations actually build a lot more insight into what might work.
  • Behavioural economics look at low-order, simple problems where there is an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect. In contrast, in many of the areas in which design thinking is applied, it is the complex problems where there isn’t an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect—this is where only through prodding, sensing, responding and then reflecting  can you get more of a sense of what might work—while never assuming that there is a solution.
  • We can really make a difference if we: involve the people (the impacted, the influencers, and the controllers) in the ecosystem in co-designing and prototyping; reframe the problem; understand the lived experience; and start by doing.

Hector Salazar SalameExecutive Director, JPAL Southeast Asia

  • View Hector Salazar Salame's presentation (PDF)
  • We need to design randomised evaluation in the intervention, so that they are rigorous, policy-relevant, and practical. Aim at understanding which components of the program work by testing variations—don’t just look at it as a binominal experiment with only a yes or no outcome, but try to understand which aspects work.
  • Multi-stakeholder collaboration is critical. If you have developed a strong coalition and cooperation among a broad range of actors, that is when they have a vested interest to know what the findings are and to act upon them. You need the right actors to put together these programs, and to actualise them into impact evaluations.
  • It is important to have ongoing monitoring and evaluation. In the hard sciences, it is easy because you can look at action and reaction, make a hypothesis, and then validate it; in the social sciences, people are policy actors and they adapt, so you will need to adapt your solutions as well. 

Han Siong Ngan, Industrial Designer, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Singapore

  • Design thinking and behavioural science involve the same fundamental principles but have different ways of expression. Design thinking tries to solve problems by first understanding the problem, then exploring the options, and then making the changes; while behavioural science examines a phenomenon, creates a hypothesis, and then tests the hypothesis. Ultimately they both have the same goal, which is to look at behavioural change by introducing interventions.
  • The value in both science and design lies in what they can teach us about people in order to know how we can change their lives for the better. To do this, we need to first understand the problem from the perspective of the people whose behaviour we are trying to change, by looking through their eyes. 
  • It is very easy to make judgments or assumptions when we look at why people behave in a certain way, but we really need to think from their perspective in order to come up with ideas or interventions to change their behaviour.

Ms Carolyn Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation

  • View Carolyn Curtis' presentation (PDF)
  • At the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TASCI), co-design is an interdisciplinary methodology that draws heavily on three disciplines: design, social science, and business innovation. A fundamental part of co-design is that everyone in the team works across all three disciplines.
  • To do co-design, you need to spend at least 50% of the time out of the office and have conversations with people who are part of the ecosystem. The design process involves: (1) framing your assumptions; (2) naming your assumptions; and (3) testing and informing your assumptions. This is an iterative process, rather than a one-off consultation. Steps (1) and (2) are taken in the office, while step (3) is taken out of the office.
  • An authentic co-design process means getting people actively involved in the co-creation of ideas, the prototyping, the feedback, and the testing and re-testing of those ideas. As the model continues to evolve to adapt to changing conditions, people should still be in the centre of the building, iterating and developing process.

Facilitated by Mr Peter Poulet, NSW Government Architect