This piece was written by Dr. Kizzy Gandy, Principal Advisor within the Behavioural Insights Team’s (BIT’s) international development team.
As the original nudge unit, we’re often asked whether behavioural insights are relevant across different cultures and economies. Can we draw similar conclusions about people’s behaviour in Britain, where we were first set up, as in, say, Bangladesh?
After running projects with governments and organisations in more than 20 low and middle income countries, it’s a question we’re increasingly confident in answering: yes.
Behavioural insights can contribute a great deal to tackling complex development challenges, often at very low cost, in a variety of places and scenarios — from medication adherence to corruption. Given the evolutionary roots of human cognition, we have not been surprised to find that people all over the world are prone to the same decision-making biases.