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Monday, September 16 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Integrating Behavioural Insights into Evaluation

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Georgia Marett (ARTD Consultants), Jack Cassidy (ARTD Consultants)

This presentation shares insights into how behavioural economics and Behavioural Insights (BI) are used in program and service design and explores ways in which evaluation can and should take BI into account. A critical concept discussed in this paper is cognitive load. Research shows that cognitive overload can negatively impact decision-making and lead to more shallow processing of information and poor information retention. One method by which BI improves program decision-making and evaluation quality is by increasing the cognitive capacity of individuals.

We illustrate how service design can take cognitive load and BI into account and what might happen if BI are ignored when designing programs. Then, we examine and explain how to evaluate programs which have incorporated BI (including how cognitive load can be incorporated into a logic model, monitoring and evaluation frameworks and/or key evaluation questions). Finally, we conclude with a discussion about whether evaluation effectively uses the cognitive capacity of its stakeholders and practitioners.

This subject is important because while BI is a hot-topic in general and in evaluation, there is a lack of understanding about the ways in which it can be applied and how to evaluate those applications. Cognitive capacity is less well understood but is vital to understanding how to craft effective services, evaluate these services and conduct evaluations regardless of whether BI are included in the target of the evaluation. We will tie this into a realist perspective of evaluation through a discussion of how BI differ in effectiveness between people and situations.

avatar for Eleanor Williams

Eleanor Williams

Assistant Director, Centre for Evaluation and Research, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria
In my current role as Assistant Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Research at the Department of Health and Human Services, I am working to build an evaluation culture across a large government department of over 12,000 employees. My team and I aim to improve the use of data... Read More →

avatar for Georgia Marett

Georgia Marett

Consultant, ARTD Consultants
I have many and varied interests when it comes to evaluation. I work across a variety of sectors including education, health and disability. I have a masters in Behavioural Economics so I am always keen to talk about the latest innovations in this space. I also have an interest in... Read More →
avatar for Jack Cassidy

Jack Cassidy

Consultant, ARTD
I mostly work on evaluations of large and complex programs across a range of human services sectors. As a former psychology major, I'm interested in policy informed by the behavioural sciences, particularly behavioural economics, as well as drug & alcohol and mental health responses... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am AEST