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EAST: Four Simple Ways to Apply Behavioural Insights

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EAST is a framework and summary of the Behavioural Insights Team's knowledge of behavioural science, developed for busy policymakers. It is based around principles of making actions Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely (EAST) applied to a 4-step process: 1. Define the outcome, Understand the context, Build your intervention, and Test, learn, adapt.
It is a more simplified version of the publisher's prior MINDSPACE framework. The resource includes overall guidance and case studies.

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8 reviews for "EAST: Four Simple Ways to Apply Behavioural Insights"

  1. Helen Griffiths says:

    No t yet accessed or used – just been to 1 hr intro talk.

  2. EAST is provided by the Behavioural Insight Team, and complements the more comprehensive but very content heavy MINDSPACE framework. Indeed, this Policy Method Toolbox is clear on its aims; it shows how some of the relevant behaviour insights can be applied to policy challenges. Its aim being more focused, it entails that the content will relate to less people but it will make the framework more practical and detailed.
    The first four parts of this toolkit present four ways to encourage behaviour; make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely. The fifth and final part of the toolkit shortly goes over the application of the behavioural insights through four steps; define the outcome, understand the context, build your intervention, and test, learn & adapt. It is important to note that the toolkit is not a comprehensive guide but still wants to acknowledge the importance in considering the wider context and nature of the problem when applying behavioural insights. Although the last part is not extensive it still proves itself very valuable to the overall toolkit; I would therefore strongly advice to read it attentively. Furthermore, the ‘behavioural pitfall’ boxes are extremely useful as they provide tangible examples of errors in application. Finally, as a first-hand user, I can say that the toolkit can be used by policy makers and non-policy makers as it can be applied in various fields. This is due to the very nature of behaviour insights which are valuable in various fields.

  3. I used this toolkit provided by the Behavioural Insight Team while working on a case study with other students. We had to answer the following question : “How to make the UK drive on the right?”. It details four simple ways to apply behavioural insights to policy design : make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely.
    It was particularly helpful to design the agenda of the reform. We figured out that the government should implement a training program to help citizens adapt to the switch and provide guidelines explaining how to use the financial help to switch cars easily (financial incentives) in order to make it more attractive and social. Also, it gave us the idea of launching a communication campaign saying why the policy is beneficial and how it will be implemented in order to address the easiness and attractiveness aspects. Finally, thanks to the toolkit, we understood that implementing the policy at a time where people seem to be more ready and understanding of the measure is an essential lever.
    The last section of the toolkit addresses the application of the behavioural insights through four steps. It helps getting a good understanding of the nature and context of the problem, which is essential to the proper use of behavioural insights.
    Finally, the “boxes” and “pitfalls” are very enlightening as they provide concrete examples give concrete examples of what works and pitfalls to avoid.
    It can be used in several fields, and not only policy design or the public sector.

  4. Joseph Allouche says:

    The aim of this toolkit is to encourage the implementation of behavior insights in the public sphere through four pillars: make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely (EAST).
    First, it details these four pillars using “boxes” to illustrate the arguments. These boxes are examples from all over the world that help to improve the understanding of the proposed ideas. Indeed, they allow us to move from the abstract to the concrete and thus facilitate understanding. Moreover behavioral pitfalls are also important to understand what is not working.
    In a second step, beyond the simple explanation of the four pillars, a method for applying these insights is presented in the form of a 4-step process.

    From the user’s point of view this toolkit is really easy to understand. It is very visual, it helped me for the comprehension. It reminds me the toolkit on MINDSPACE framework. It’s the same kind of toolkit but with less elements. It can be used by policy makers but not only, it can be useful for all citizens in many sectors.

  5. This toolkit was created by the Behavioural Insights Team. The framework aims to provide a structured overview when designing a policy of the potential (positive or negative) behavioural biases of people to take into account and understand, encouraging behaviours and making the policy more effective. The name EAST stands for the 4 pillars the framework is based on, and how the policy should be: Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely. Each pillar contains detailed information, explanations and examples to make the reader understand easily how to design an effective policy accounting for behavioural responses. The visual boxes are especially useful to grasp a good understanding. A final part in this framework is dedicated to providing a chronological methodology for the application of these insights in the design process using 4 steps: define the outcome, understand the context, build your intention, test, learn and adapt. It is particularly useful and should be read attentively as it provides an overview of the important factors to consider, accounting for some of the insights explained in detail beforehand. It also clearly highlights that the framework should be, however, used critically, constantly looking at the specific context it is applied on. Indeed, as explained in the toolkit, some behavioural tools can work well in some policy areas and not in others. It would be interesting to look at practical case studies in which behavioural insights have been applied, such as in the Nudge Database of the European Nudging Network, to deepen the understanding.

    Hence, this framework is a clear and short guideline to follow, which allows to include the major insights needed to encourage behaviours. I used it when designing a policy which had direct impacts on people, and for which its success depended on their behaviours. Using this toolkit allowed a push of our initial thoughts, going further in the reflection process and designing a policy based on and for people. I recommend using this toolkit, especially when designing a policy that directly affects citizens.

  6. The EAST Toolkit is very well designed for policy makers that have an important time limitation and need to have a logical framework installed within their context as soon as possible. It has a considerable amount of aggregated value because of its practicality: The user will find that there is no specific knowledge needed in order to use the toolkit. The study cases that are included within EAST are very pertinent so that the policy maker or user can understand the logic behind the toolkit. One small point, when starting to use the toolkit, the introduction lacks a tad of clarity and it takes a considerable amount of time that could be reduced.

  7. Jules says:

    This toolkit helps to implement interventions in specific contexts in order to tackle behavioural effects and the consequences of a misapplied policy. This toolkit is based on a series of graphs illustrating the main postulates. (1) Behavioural changes can be achieved by making simpler policy by harnessing the power of defaults, reducing the hassle factor (adding or reducing the amount of effort needed discourages or encourages behaviours) and a simple messages delivery system (Clear presentation, simple language, remove all unnecessary information,). (2) Making the policy more attractive by stimulating the reaction of users (adding notes or a colour coded system, target an emotional impact.) or by personalizing (adding the names, personalized mails, highlight a personal feature). We used this toolkit for a group project, and it helped us to design our policy, it was easy to use in order to shape main components. However, this is a direction that is given to the project but that is difficult to achieve for specific elements. This toolkit could be put in place for vaccination campaigns in the fight against COVID-19 by providing information or by helping users to weight pros and cons.
    As suggested in the conclusion, the toolkit faces 3 challenges, first of all a success in the present might to be as effective in the future, segmentation is a challenge for policymakers since behavioural answers are unique to each user. Finally, the last challenge needs to be highlighted, this toolkit is very effective for simple behaviours while policymakers are facing more complex behaviours.

  8. This toolkit is quite useful as it shows both policymakers and managers how they can use targeted strategies to influence the choices and behavior of electorates, groups, and teams. Indeed, its principal strength is that it shows, through a simplified organizational diagram, how one can utilize humans’ inborn psychological tendencies to nudge them towards a desired behavior or outcome as well as avoid behavioral pitfalls. Humans are attracted by what is simple and easily understandable and shy away from what is complex and overly redundant, which includes hard to understand language and diagrams. By intuitively steering policymakers away from implementing reforms that would create a headache for their users, this toolkit is perfect for any policymaker looking to achieve an outcome, understand its context, and test it in the real world using a psychological approach.

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