Behavioural insights: resources and best practice

A range of techniques and resources to explain how behavioural insights can be done in your council and with your population.

The LGA is looking to build an evidence base of what works that councils can apply to their own services locally. The council case studies below will be added to frequently.

We would love to hear from you about your behavioural insight work and examples. Please contact us at [email protected]

Basic behavioural insights techniques

Effective communications checklist 

by the Centre for Applied Behavioural Science

Principles of behavioural science can improve an organisation’s communications approach and impact. Use this checklist to assess how well your current communications incorporate practices based on strong evidence, and apply these lessons to help get your message across.

The intervention ladder

An easy way to understand what is meant by behavioural insights is to consider the Nuffield Council on Bioethic’s ladder of intervention.

The intervention ladder explains the type of action which the council is taking in order to change behaviour - interventions range between doing nothing to eliminating choice.

Which step on the ladder does your behavioural insights project align to?

Behaviour Change Wheel: from behavioural diagnosis to intervention design

The Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) was developed from 19 frameworks of behaviour change identified in a systematic literature review. It consists of three layers.

The hub identifies the sources of the behaviour that could prove fruitful targets for intervention. It uses the COM-B ('capability', 'opportunity', 'motivation' and 'behaviour') model. This model recognises that behaviour is part of an interacting system involving all these components. Interventions need to change one or more of them in such a way as to put the system into a new configuration and minimise the risk of it reverting. Surrounding the hub is a layer of nine intervention functions to choose from based on the particular COM-B analysis one has undertaken. The outer layer, the rim of the wheel, identifies seven policy categories that can support the delivery of these intervention functions. Find out more about the BCW.

Response: A behavioural insights checklist for designing effective communications

The response checklist is an interactive playbook that uses behavioural insights to help staff write more effective communications. It was developed by a team of behavioural science practitioners working in local government as a quick, easy and practical way of upskilling workforces to apply behavioural science with minimum fuss and maximum impact.

Examples from councils

Public health examples

This LGA publication for councillors and officers explains how behavioural change interventions can help local authorities fulfil their public health responsibilities.