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The Behavioural Insights Team

A £3m grant to deliver a series of randomised controlled, behavioural-based trials focused on improved tax compliance, and corresponding capacity building of local civil servants, in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Investment Overview

Substantial funding gaps

Faced by countries despite foreign aid

TEST (Target, Explore, Solution, Trial)

BIT's unique approach

500+

Projects using BIT's TEST approach
Location: 
Bangladesh
Guatemala
Indonesia
The Philippines
Sectors: 
Multiple (including financial inclusion)

The Behavioural Insights Team

Multiple Sectors | Bangladesh, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines | Scale

 

  • The development problem: Development assistance alone is not sufficient to meet the needs of the developing world. Even with foreign aid, countries face substantial funding gaps across key sectors like education and healthcare. For instance, many countries only reach one third of the ~$90 per capita in health spending needed to achieve universal coverage of essential health services. Furthermore, there is also a broader need for cost-effective interventions that leverage the rich literature of behavioral insights.  

 

  • The innovation: The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) employs an approach called TEST (Target, Explore, Solution, Trial) that is underpinned by the philosophy of behavioural science, which proposes that small changes to public service delivery, that fit with human decision-making tendencies (e.g. default bias), can significantly impact on behaviour and on the performance of services and programs.   To date, BIT has worked with around 20 governments outside the UK, including training teams in Australia and Singapore to run trials on their own, and has developed the TEST approach in over 500 projects. 

 

  • GIF’s investment: GIF’s £3m grant will help deliver a series of randomised controlled, behavioural-based trials primarily focused on improved tax compliance, and corresponding capacity building of local civil servants.

 

  • Why we invested:
    • High potential for leveraged impact – behavioural approaches are generally cost-effective, can frequently generate significant impact, and could be scaled up from initial samples of thousands to reach millions
    • Co-creation with implementing partners during several parts of the TEST approach increases chances of buy-in by governments and civil servants