A helpful nudge: departments gain access to wider range of behavioural insights expertise

Crown Commercial Service has put together a £16m four-year framework with six suppliers offering “nudge theory” advice

The Behavioural Insights Team, headed up by David Halpern, is one of six suppliers in new framework. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Tamsin.Rutter

06 Feb 2018

The Crown Commercial Service has created a four-year framework through which departments can procure the services of organisations with behavioural insights expertise.

Behavioural insights research – or nudge theory – has informed government policy since 2010, with the aim of making public services more cost-effective and easier to use, and applying a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy.

Public bodies using the new framework can now gain access to a wider range of suppliers, which can help with the design and development of policies and services, as well as with running trials, capacity building and thought leadership.


The Behavioural Insights Team, which was set up in the Cabinet Office in 2010 but mutualised in 2013, is one of the six suppliers – which include two SMEs – offering their services through the framework. BIT already works extensively with public bodies, while many departments have also begun to build up their own behavioural insights functions.

The other suppliers include market research company Ipsos Mori, social research company Kantar Public, and management consultancy McKinsey & Company.

John Manzoni, Cabinet Office permanent secretary and chief executive of the civil service, said: “Behavioural insights have been a part of policy making at the heart of government for a significant amount of time now.

“This new framework will enable all public sector organisations to access this expertise, helping them to design efficient, effective public services that meet the real needs of citizens.”

Suppliers appointed through the agreement, which is worth up to £16m over four years, will offer their services with “an emphasis on… supporting people to make better choices for themselves”, according to the framework document.

David Skinner, the Crown Commercial Service’s director of corporate solutions, said: “We’ve taken this opportunity to redesign our framework solution offer for Behavioural Insights, opening up the market to a wider range of expertise that can deliver greater outcomes and commercial benefit to our customers.”

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