I’ve just come across a clear example of what I mean when I say that policy-makers and commissioners could be much wiser when it comes to using behavioural insights, and that being systematic about behaviour could lead to much better policy. In a comment in response to a passing mention in a Bicycle Dutch blog on roundabout design, Patrick Lingwood (whom I believe is Walking & Cycling Policy Officer at Bedfordshire CC) gave this very detailed description (below) of how the authority arrived at a specific design.
It’s long, so I’m going to make my response first; I don’t want to lose anyone here, so I’m not asking you to become experts in comparative cycle infrastructure and roundabout design. Before I do, can I just say that we should be grateful to Patrick for posting in such detail; it’s not often we get such a clear explanation of the rationale behind decisions.
Here’s my point: Bedfordshire’s design (effectively endorsed by the DfT) begins with an assumption about meeting demand for motorised traffic at the current level or higher, and of meeting current demand for cycling and walking, only more safely than at present. With this starting point, the resulting design is probably the best obtainable; personally, I’d love it, as I’m very comfortable taking prime position on my bike.
But I’m pretty sure that behaviour-smart policy-making would start with an analysis of current behaviours. A place-shaping local authority would identify the thousands of journeys of less than, say, 5km that pass through this roundabout daily and use a range of insights into the barriers to healthy, sustainable travel by the people who travel by car but are within walking or cycling distance of their destination. With a clear understanding of the behaviours it wants to encourage, and the design process would then begin. And insights from behavioural sciences, along with experience elsewhere, would be used to identify how to make the behaviours being encouraged both easy and normal. This would be reflected in the final design, whereas the Bedford plan is unlikely to reframe walking and cycling as anything other than (as at present) low-status. A behaviour-smart approach might seem radical at the moment, but it’s the future, as policy-makers become more exposed to behavioural insights.
Anyway, I’ve had my say – here’s Patrick’s explanation:
“with regards to the Bedford turbo-roundabout, it is easy to misunderstand the impact of a design on the basis of a short article in LTT (Local Transport Today). The overall concept indeed was inspired by the examples in The Netherlands, but the concept has been adapted to the local environment.
First you need to understand the current arrangement in Bedford. It is an English-style roundabout in the middle of a very Victorian town. The roundabout itself is relatively small but has a relatively wide unmarked circulating carriageway where traffic either circulates as single lanes or doubles up depending on flow. Vehicles circulate too fast, entries are too close and it is difficult to predict vehicle paths, so that other vehicles, including cyclists, find it difficult to safely enter the roundabout. There are several circulating vehicle-colliding-with-entry-vehicle collisions as a result.
Most cyclists are also following a different path from most motorised vehicles. So there are conflicts as cyclists move across the different paths of vehicles. And of course there are the typical entry – circulating collisions where vehicles enter the roundabout without noticing the circulating cyclist.
On top of this, there are high pedestrian flows. There are 2500 pedestrian crossing movements of the arms without any assistance apart from the central islands, with several accidents resulting as crossing pedestrians are hit mostly by exiting vehicles.
So with 32 injury accidents, including 8 serious, over 10 years, at a cost to society of nearly £2 million, there was an urgent need to do something. The roundabout lies on an important route to the town centre and station for cyclists with over 500 cyclists a day, but it is also on a key interurban and intra-urban route with 25,000 motorised vehicles a day.
The council’s first choice was single lane compact (Dutch-style) roundabout. This was modelled but was found not to cope with the vehicular capacity, because whereas compact roundabouts can cope with those kinds of flows, the junction flows at this roundabout are not balanced. This is where the turbo-roundabout concept came to our rescue.
Ignoring the type of cycle provision for the moment, the essence of a turbo-roundabout is that it can cope with higher flows than a compact roundabout (up to 35,000 vehicles per day) because of 2 lane entries and 2 lane circulation. Secondly the raised circulating lane dividers prevent straight-lining through the roundabout so reduce vehicular speed entering, circulating and exiting the roundabout, thereby creating a safety benefit. Finally the spiral lane marking through the roundabout reduces the conflict points as vehicles enter, circulate and exit.
Our estimate, based on the radius of curvature of vehicular paths, is that in Bedford this will reduce motorised vehicle speeds from current 25mph to around 10-15mph, approximating much more to cycling speeds. The lower vehicle speeds allow us to put Zebras on every arm which will further change the way motorists use the roundabout, becoming more aware of vulnerable road users, and further reduce entry and exit speeds.
So with motorised vehicles and pedestrians now catered for, that leaves what is the best solution for cyclists. First it should be understood, notwithstanding the Dutch style preponderance of cycle tracks, if vehicle speeds are low enough, it is safer for a cyclist to go round a roundabout in the primary position. Annular cycle tracks create additional conflict points. In primary position on the road, a cyclist is most visible and has least conflict points, especially so in a single lane compact roundabout or turbo-roundabout.
Secondly, you cannot legally create a non-signalised annular cycle track and a pedestrian crossing in the UK context. This is the significance of the TRL work. It is the first stage in seeking a change in Government regulations to allow this. So either pedestrians get priority at a Zebra or cyclists have priority using Give Way markings (not a feasible option in this context).
Thirdly and most importantly, a cycle track is neither the safe nor correct solution for the Bedford roundabout. The four roads that lead to the roundabout have very high flows of pedestrians with adequate footway widths, but certainly not shared path widths. Most cyclists approaching this junction are on-road, using the cycle lanes on the most congested link. Cyclists going through the roundabout in primary position, i.e. taking up the whole lane, will have no more conflict points than in a Dutch-style compact roundabout, and around a third of the conflict points under the existing design. A detailed analysis of the accidents suggests a 75% reduction in serious accidents and 40% reduction in slight accidents for all modes, including cyclists.
So as long as cyclists are happy to take primary position in front of traffic, they will be safer and get through the roundabout faster than in an annular design. The conflict is between perceptual safety and real safety. The big question is whether cyclists will feel safe in primary position in front of slow moving traffic.
This is where personal feelings often cloud professional judgements. An analysis of Bedford data is that there are 2 types of cyclists – “Quick” cyclists happy to share with traffic and “Quiet” cyclists who want to be segregated from traffic as far as possible. The current division of cyclists in Bedford is around 60% Quick cyclists and 40% Quiet cyclists (on the basis of a survey of station cyclists and an analysis of road usage). Currently at this junction, 350 are on-road and 200 off-road (a lot of those are child cyclists).
So for Quiet cyclists we are creating a cycle track which leads to the Zebras. They will be able to go round the roundabout using the Zebras, 2 of which have been widened to maximum of 4m (on the main cycle crossing flows) to create as safe a crossing environment as possible.
In summary, the roundabout should definitely be safer for all users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorised users, than the current layout. Secondly, unlike now, cyclists will have a legal choice, depending on their nature, whether to go through the roundabout on-road or off-road. Hopefully this will create a virtuous circle of happier cyclists, eventually leading to higher cycle usage. We are thankful that the DfT Cyclist Safety Grant has been awarded to allow us to trial this innovative design.”
I spent an afternoon last week at Information Is In The Eye Of The Beholder, an event organised by the Design Councils’ Behavioural Design Lab. Maybe I’m lazy, but the main thing I took from it was a confirmation of something that has been becoming very in my work: that practitioners who apply insights from behavioural sciences in the policy sphere and in public services (and there aren’t many of us) need to challenge our clients to be very clear about the behavioural outcomes they want.
This may seem an obvious point to make, but I don’t think it is. Why? First, there is no established market for public service commissioning of behavioural insights, so commissioners have little experience to draw on. Second, so much policy is designed on the false assumption that people are rational, economic beings that there are likely to be some false assumptions built in to any default view of behavioural goals.
Let me illustrate this.
Felicity Algate from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team showed a prototype smartphone app that would enable people to compare their energy bill with the putative bill from competing energy companies, and to switch supplier with one click. In terms of providing feedback, applying mere exposure effect, and reducing goal dilution (a real barrier to switching), it’s great. It’s a real “if only all public services could be like this” moment.
But it does raise plenty of policy issues. For one thing, what are the carbon implications (given that the UK has self-imposed carbon budgets to meet by law)? Well, first, let’s be clear that paying less for energy does not increase energy efficiency, which is improved by reducing the energy input required for a given output, not by making it cheaper! Plenty of switching campaigns make this mistake, which in policy or behavioural terms is a significant error (sorry Calderdale, I had to pick on someone). Second, switching suppliers to pay less could increase energy usage. Third, there is an (arguably underfunded) policy drive to help people reduce household energy bills be reducing usase, through the Green Deal, hence a real risk of lack of clarity on how to manage energy bills, with damaging behavioural outcomes. (I should point out that, at the event, others raised risks around the potential behaviour of companies in a market operating in this way; I’m only thinking here about the behaviour policy-makers encourage in citizens). In summary, there’s a case to be made that this is great innovation using behavioural insights, to serve a policy goal that isn’t very smart behaviourally.
In contrast, Felicity also illustrated the use of text messages to encourage people to pay fines (already in the public domain). This is surely a good use of behavioural insights, bringing a public service into line with current knowledge, but also uncontestable in policy terms. Not only is justice being served, but ‘clients’ stand to save the £200 that would otherwise be added to their fine to pay bailiffs.
My point, in summary: taking behavioural sciences seriously means applying them to policy considerations, not merely applying them once the policy thinking is done. And for those of us working in the field, that means not always accepting a commissioner’s brief ‘as is’.
Every so often, when I’m running workshops on using insights from behavioural sciences, I’m struck by how the reaction to some effects differs from others. I’ve mentioned this before in relation to the use of smileys.
And I think I’ve noticed that, in public services and policy, some effects have been used more readily than others. The example of organ donation, with policy makers in England choosing to use exposure effect and those in Wales using defaults is a good example.
So I now have a theory: that there are some behavioural effects that can be understood and accepted even with the ‘rational-agent’ model. Of course people are more likely to do something if you make it the thing that happens unless they act! And of course people are more likely to do something if you ask them to do it! I can believe these two things without accepting that my instincts are perfectly adapted to an environment very unlike the one I live in.
So, is there a set of insights from behavioural sciences that decision makers (and people generally) are more comfortable with, because they don’t fundamentally challenge our learned understanding of what people are like (that is, basically in control of our actions, and largely acting with purpose)? And a set that are more troubling, because they alert us to how driven we are by herd instincts and evolutionary imperatives? The latter set would include hyperbolic discounting, social proof and many others.
Am I on to something? Is this a new insight, or so obvious that no-one has bothered to point it out? Or does this sort of analysis already exist? Let me know.
Lord Krebs, incoming President of the British Science Association was reported last week as criticising government use of ‘nudges’ But it seems that this amounts merely to a reservation are that using behavioural insights shouldn’t be a “get out of jail card if the government wants to avoid tougher approaches like taxation and regulation”. Which shoots down in flames a case that precisely no practitioners are making in the first place.
In fact, making public policy choices informed by behavioural science is on the verge of being accepted into the mainstream – in principle at least. This is quite something for what was a trendy discussion topic only a handful of years ago.
In the long run, what will surely happen is that the main thread of the case for using behavioural insights (that we are “predictably irrational”, so policy and services need to reflect this) will change. I predict it will be turned on its head, and I’m going to do what I can to make sure it is. Why? Because our true nature, our loss aversion, our temporal discounting, the heuristics we use are, in fact, completely rational, given the way our species has evolved. We only appear to be irrational when viewed through the lens of economists and philosophers whose assumptions were never true. Sorry, but humans are not rational economic agents, operating in an economy heading for equilibrium (and credit is due to IPPR for bringing this understanding closer to the mainstream with its Complex New World report).
Putting this growing acceptance into practice, though, is being held back by a number of things. First, the number of practitioners (that is, people who help bodies apply behavioural insights) is small; second, and a chief cause of #1, there isn’t a clear market for commissioning behavioural work in public services where this is not well established; third (and, of course a chief cause of #2), it doesn’t ‘belong’ to any existing profession. So while behavioural insights have informed the work of designers and advertisers for decades, that’s just not true in public policy. So what’s becoming mainstream in principle is being held back in practice.
If I’m right, then over the next few years, we’ll have to face up to the real challenges of public policy catching up with the evidence base and making decisions based on what people are really like, not what Enlightenment thinkers and classical economists say that we’re like. These challenges should be much more substantial than the red herring debates to date (such as that around the House of Lords Select Committee report)
An event I’m doing with Political Innovation aims to highlight one such practical challenge, namely the tension between using insights from behavioural sciences and an approach that progressive voices, myself included, are rightly positive about: co-design. In participative democracy, participation and service design, co-design with citizens and users is surely a good thing. Is it not a way of cementing the move away from the ‘we know best’ style of decision-making which has rhetorically been a no-no for twenty years, but which we all privately admit still prevails?
Here’s the problem, though: Why would I, as a citizen, play a part in designing a service which aims to prompt certain behaviour on my part with cues which I consider irrational or childish? As a policy maker, what is my response to this: accept that the human inclination to think that we are much more in control of our actions than we really are trumps proven, scientific insight? The risk is that the use of behavioural insights becomes an extension of ‘we know best’ policy-making. And that’s what we’re trying to avoid, isn’t it?
I’m not sure I have the answers, but I’m pretty sure that the questions here are going to be important. Come along on 25 September if you can.
Have you ever wondered why smiley faces are so powerful? I ask because they’re significant in the world of behavioural economics and psychology.
Here’s one example you probably know already: the way that OPower reduces energy consumption in US communities by employing social proof in the way that energy use is communicated. The image here shows how it works in practice, with clear communication on household energy use in relation to neighbours reinforced by a ‘great/good/below average’ rating, illustrated with smiley faces as appropriate.
The key thing to note is the impact of the smileys and rating; without them, usage tends to converge on the mean, so high users reduce usage, and low users increase over time. The smileys stop this happening, saving lots of money and carbon, which is the point; the initiative is designed to reduce energy usage. (Click here to read a paper on this).
Why is this example important in the work I do? Because when I’m running a With The Grain workshop, introducing people to insights from behavioural sciences, prior to helping people use these insights to generate ideas on how they can encourage certain behaviours, I use the OPower example as a ‘jumping the shark’ moment. To most people, it seems so absurd that such a simple measure should have such an effect on our behaviour that it feels right to give participants the right to say that they aren’t convinced. I invite them to say so if they feel I am taking them down the same path that script writers took Happy Days viewers!
The objection (or at least surprise) that people have is generally that something so ‘childlike’ or ‘childish’ can have such an effect on adults.
An experiment at Yale (paper here) found that babies accepted a video of a ball striking disordered blocks and appearing to create order – but only if the ball had a ‘face’. This has provoked interest among those interested in why humans are disposed to believe in deities, but I think it’s also interesting for those of us trying to use insights from behavioural sciences in our work. It is surely less troubling to see the way that such an apparently simple thing can greatly influence our behaviour not as ‘childish’ but as being innate.
In my view, it’s easier to work with effects that we think influence us because of an innate pre-disposition, than it is to work with something that we see as childish, not least because the latter idea carries with it a sense of immaturity that should, over time, leave us.
It seems, humans aren’t like that; the evidence shows we are influenced as adults by smileys. We might as well embrace the fact, and work with the grain.
You might have noticed that England and Wales are taking different approaches to increasing organ donation rates. They’re both addressing the problem that the UK’s ‘opt-in’ system gives a much lower rate of donation than ‘opt-out’ systems in some other countries. You can guess which nations in the chart below use which approach! The difference in outcomes is stark.
In terms of behavioural effects, this is all about defaults. And the plan in Wales is to use this insight to change the default to presumed consent. In England, a different approach – just as legitimate – has been chosen: relying on Exposure Effect, rather than Default Effect. So, when you apply for a driving license, you will have to choose between being on the donor register, or not.
There won’t be a ‘don’t know’ option, which strengthens the effect, and we are sure to see donor rates increase.
So I was pleased to be reminded (by@alex_north) that Boots is helping the drive to improve rates, by asking people if they want to be added to the register when they apply for a store loyalty card. I’ve clipped their web page on this (right). Again, this is about employing Exposure Effect.
My reason for posting this is simply to flag up how straightforward it can be to use behavioural effects. It doesn’t require masses of academic input; it just requires a bit of literacy about behavioural effects.
Speaking of which, good to see Boots adding the clip below, using Emotional Engagement to encourage people to ‘do the right thing’.
I think the blog I’ve amplified below is significant because it’s from someone at a big agency and starts to respond to the “Think of me as Evil” report. I’ve posted my comments on the blog page (linked below and shown below. So I don’t need to add more comment here. Oh, and there’s a cute cat picture.
neuroscience vs cats with thumbs
There seems to be a lot of talk in the trade press recently about ‘neuromarketing’. And there was an interesting piece ‘advertising is a poison’ in The Guardian last week. George Monbiot makes some good points in the article. At W+K we don’t tend to think of our work as a ‘battering ram’ of ‘pervasiveness and repetition’; the people behind the likes of Go Compare may well have a different point of view.
But is advertising the cause of a society that celebrates image, power and status, or is it a symptom of this society? People have aspired to these values since they were jealous of the neanderthal with a better cave. The societies where the state has tried to enforce the suppression of these aspirations – hello, Stalin’s Russia, North Korea – have in the main been pretty miserable places. It isn’t just advertising that makes humans want a bigger house and a new car.
Since the publication of Hidden Persuaders in the 1950s, academics have been suggesting that advertising has the power to manipulate the subconscious. But it’s pretty rare that an agency team will have a conversation with clients about neurobiology, or how our message will be processed by the prefrontal cortex of our audience, or how we can conceal some sort of secret mind-control message in an ad. It’s just not that scientific or simple. We wouldn’t deny that advertising has the power to manipulate the unconscious mind. But pundits overestimate our ability to control or predict how we’re doing it.
Meanwhile, it’s ironic that Monbiot suggests advertising is to blame for low savings rates by UK families when at the bottom of the article there is an ad for… Barclays Investments.
In Marketing magazine this week, Dr AK Pradeep ‘one of the world’s leading neuromarketing experts’ says, “One of my clients trying to sell milk experimented with various imagery – farms, grass, hay, barns farmers…The one that always wins out is cows. Somehow the source of a product is more evocative in the deep subconscious than anything else. This is something we’ve learned through neuromarketing.”
So, what about cats with thumbs, as featured in our highly successful campaign for Cravendale milk then?
Our view: the difficulty with showing cows or talking about the other familiar benefits listed above by Dr Pradeep is that it gives the audience immediate permission to ignore you because they assume you’re telling them what they already know. But something dissonant and unexpected like a polydactyl cat slaps you across the face (not literally, we don’t yet have the technology to make that possible) and makes you pay attention in a way you wouldn’t have done otherwise for such a functional product. An 8% sales increase suggests that this approach has merits.
Of course, perhaps if we had done a campaign featuring cows with thumbs, we would have sold even more milk.
This is the full (unedited) version of the article Municipal Journal published last week. I think it’s clearer than the shortened version. It tries to explain in 1,400 words the principles we’re using to apply behaviour change techniques, and gives one example of this in practice.
I know it uses some technical (behavioural) terms, but I honestly think understanding of these will become mainstream, so we may need to get used to them!
Working with the grain
Friday, 14 October 2011
Warren Hatter and Kieran Stigant on how West Sussex County Council is learning to work ‘with the grain’ of human nature.
For the past year or so, policy makers and academics have found it hard to steer clear of the topic of behaviour change. Cue conference speeches, broadsheet articles and the important debate taking place on the role of the state (most recently highlighted by the House of Lords Science & Technology Sub-Committee report on behaviour change). This discussion needs to happen in the public domain, as it affects citizens’ expectations of government, but it does not need to get in the way of using behavioural insights. So we have decided to sidestep most of the debate and get on with developing the practice. Our rationale is simple: human behaviour is strongly influenced by context all the time, so we should be looking to influence that context to encourage the type of behaviours that improve wellbeing and reduce costs. Though a simple principle to work with, we acknowledge that it goes against the grain of 200 years of post-Enlightenment thinking. Mainstream economists and policy-makers have tended, until now, to assume that people behave rationally, but the evidence from a wide range of disciplines – not least behavioural and evolutionary psychology – now is clear that human behaviour is subjective (though often predictably so), context-dependent and intensely social.
Equally, reservations are sometimes expressed that local or central government using insights from behavioural sciences to shape communications or services is somehow sinister. We disagree; we think that local government’s responsibility is to get the best outcomes as effectively and efficiently as possible. HMRC increased tax revenues last year by changing the wording of letters sent to citizens in a way that employed behavioural insights (telling people, for example, the high percentage in their area who pay their taxes on time); we have yet to see any serious argument that this is underhand behaviour inappropriate for government. Likewise in local government: if we can reduce the number of unnecessary school admissions appeals by wording the communication with parents more effectively, then we should do so.
What has inspired us is less the theory and the policy debate, more the practical examples. In the past few years, there has been an explosion in the amount of evidence we can draw on. We have seen practical interventions using behavioural psychology and behavioural economics, carried out by organisations in all sectors, sometimes with academic engagement, and analytical approaches (the highest profile public sector example being the MINDSPACE report) that help us understand the range of behavioural effects that can be employed. We decided to draw on this evidence to see what opportunities it provides.
Having explained the imperative behind our work, we want to share the three principles that have inspired our approach. It is driven by three insights we gained from our research and initial work: the first, key, one is that we can improve outcomes and efficiency with low- and no- cost interventions. There are numerous case studies where this has been shown, for example well-evidenced examples of a smiley face helping to ‘lock in’ appropriate behaviour such as low energy usage or safe driving. This can be hard for people to accept, as we have rarely questioned narratives that assume we behave rationally.
The second principle is that Councils can do this. It’s not the exclusive domain of university academics and high-priced consultants and – to most – it’s not just interesting, it’s useful, too.
The third is that need greatly exceeds demand. In our view, just about every service has aspects that could benefit from using behavioural insights, but very few are actively ‘in the market’. Managers are not in the habit of using behavioural insights to generate ideas on how their approach could be configured differently, or communications reframed. We have started to change this.
And we also recognise the starting point that WSCC is like almost all other authorities. We have no staff with ‘behaviour change’ in their job description or job title, and hardly any staff who would describe ‘behaviour change’ as part of their role. And yet in many areas, West Sussex, like other Councils, is ‘doing’ behaviour change by encouraging residents in, for example, pro-environmental behaviours.
Our focus now is on using behavioural insights wherever human behaviour is a factor in our work. So, for WSCC, this is about building capacity; growing the amount of expertise in the authority on using behavioural insights.
The With The Grain Tool
The way we are building capacity is project by project using our new West Sussex With The Grain tool. To create WSWTG, we worked with experts in the two professions who make most use of behavioural insights to affect behaviour: designers and communications professionals, as well as getting input from academic experts and practitioners in local government.
WSWTG gives officers (and staff from partner organisations) access to:
•a way of pinning down the behavioural changes we are looking to encourage
•a presentation and poster explaining a wide range of behavioural effects, using the most memorable (as opposed to the most worthy) examples; and
•a method for systematically exploring the full range of behavioural effects to generate ideas from which the team can identify those worth pursuing
We have identified four clusters of behavioural effects that we introduce to officers. These are:
•approval effects, which make the ‘right’ choice (that is, the behaviour we are looking to encourage) seem normal;
•ease effects, which make it easy/ier to make the ‘right’ choice;
•reward effects, which increase the perception of reward for the ‘right’ choice; and
•obligation effects, which help people feel a sense of obligation to make the ‘right’ choice
So, for example, when we looked for ways to encourage all staff to clear their desks at the end of the day, promoting flexible working and enabling the authority to save money by reducing the desk:staff ratio, the following ideas were generated:
•Status quo bias (one of our ‘ease effects’) tells us that new behaviours are maintained when they fit into existing routines, so we are considering including a ‘clear your desk’ prompt or verification to be included in the logging out process at the end of the day. This could be like checking the box to confirm you understand the terms & conditions before you are able to make some purchases, such as train tickets.
•A range of ‘reward effects’ can be employed. Rather then communicating the benefits to the organisation (the likely default option), internal communications can focus on the ‘payoff’ for individuals, particularly in light of temporal discounting, which makes us favour immediate gains: in this case, being able to get up in the morning and decide where to work.
•‘Approval effects’ are very relevant, in particular social norms (none of us wants to be the ‘odd one out’) and authority effect (chief officers and senior managers will need to lead by example).
•Commitment and consistency may be the key ‘obligation effect’; we all want to behave consistently with a commitment we have made publicly. In this instance, asking teams to sign a declaration recognising the benefits of flexible working – not least the end of ‘presenteeism’ – and also the commitment involved (to clear one’s desk) may be a way of driving ‘bottom up’ change.
This is a very brief example of how behavioural insight can be useful, drawn from a current project. Our experience so far is that using the WSWTG enables staff to generate a better understanding of the behaviours which are a factor in their service and generate many more, better ideas than would have been the case without considering behavioural insights in a systematic way.
Having innovative ideas is not enough, of course; success will depend on being able to test and implement the best ones. We will be open about what we learn in West Sussex from now on, not least because there is a good chance that innovations driven by behavioural insights that work here will work elsewhere.
The debate will continue; in the meantime, local authorities have the chance to use behavioural insights to shape future services.
Warren Hatter is a Local Improvement Advisor working with WSCC on behaviour change. Kieran Stigant is Chief Executive of WSCC.