Jul 2, 2020

CEI article in Singapore Civil Service College policy journal Ethos

Exploring global lessons on how implementation science and behavioural science can help reshape behaviour and systems in a post-COVID policy landscape


We are currently in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers the world over have reacted to the immediate crisis with a range of measures intended to affect both individual behaviour and systems changes and slow the virus’s spread. Lockdowns, implemented across most countries, are an effective, if blunt, policy instrument to control individual movement and hence, the risk of transmission. However, what measures are appropriate for the long term for those grappling with how to adapt policymaking in this post-COVID landscape? In the June 2020 issue of Ethos, the journal of the Civil Service College Singapore and Singapore’s leading policy journal, CEI co-authors Mary Abdo, Managing Director, Jane Lewis, UK and Europe Director, and Dr Robyn Mildon, Executive Director, look ahead to the next phase in post-COVID policymaking.

Over the next few months, as countries ease off lockdowns and lift restrictions, a new phase in the public management of the pandemic will begin. Societies will transition from controlling individual behaviour directly, to a reliance on influencing behaviour and the way our communities operate. The success of this new phase will depend upon organisations (such as businesses) and systems (such as health and transport networks) adjusting their approaches in ways that support desired policy outcomes. Drawing lessons from a range of global examples the article explores opportunities to use implementation science and behavioural science to reshape behaviour and systems. The authors highlight approaches that can help policymakers plan beyond the immediate requirements of the lockdown and focus on sustaining behaviours longer term to support preferred public health outcomes. Read the article here:

Reshaping Behaviour and Systems in a Post-COVID Policy Landscape: Ethos Journal, Digital Issue 6, 3 June 2020.