Documents/4P4BPS/1: Data & Analysis/1.3: Interventions

1.3: Interventions

Use data to design and improve interventions

Other Information:

Using data to design and improve interventions -- Reliable, clean data can inform the design or refinement of government initiatives. The UK government's Behavioural Insights Team was formed explicitly to use data about citizen behavior to improve the effectiveness of government interventions. The team sets up randomized control trials (long used in the medical field but only now gaining favor in the public sector) to test the impact of small changes, like adjustments in the language and tone of the letter that the tax department sends to delinquent taxpayers. In its first two years, the team paid for itself 22 times over in savings. It has identified interventions expected to save the UK government at least £300 million over the next five years.6 And the unit has started to advise other governments on how to use data and randomized control trials to improve government performance. Evidence-based decision making creates real value, both financial and nonfinancial, for citizens. Done right, it allows government to assess policy and program effectiveness, measure progress, and engage in a more rational public debate on sensitive topics.