Report from our July 22 Event on ‘Nudges’ and Behavioural Economics

On July 22, 2014, 45 public servants from the Government of Canada attended a half-day event examining the theory and practice of behavioural economics or Nudge theory as it applies to policy development in the Government of Canada and abroad.

The session included:

Case Studies presented by two Departments leading in this area of work in the Government of Canada. Presentations were made by Jean-Francois Ruel, Director Intelligence and Data Division, Canada Revenue Agency and Chad Hartnell, A/Senior Director, Partnership and Strategies Division, Public Health Agency.

A panel discussion regarding the importance of, and ‘how to’ engage academia in adopting behavioural economics. Panel members included: Catherine Bennett, Assistant Commissioner, CRA; Greg Richards, Executive-in-Residence, Telfer School, University of Ottawa; and Tim Wilson, Executive Director, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

A presentation by Jennifer Miller, Director, Policy Innovation, Privy Council Office, Office of the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet. She spoke to the group about the role of the Innovation Hub in PCO in helping Departments deliver on the vision for Destination 2020.

A group exercise. Four questions engaged participants in discussions about the challenges, opportunities and use of Nudge in Government.

A WebEx question and answer session with Dr. David Halpern from the UK’s Behavoural Insights team.

Click here to view the PHAC Prezi on “Mobilizing Partnerships for Collective Action”.

Click here to view the IOG’s report “Applying Behavioural Insights to Government Decision-makers”


About the Authors

  • Toby

    Toby Fyfe

    Vice President - Learning Lab

    Toby Fyfe is Vice President of the Learning Lab, where he is responsible for the IOG’s educational programs and courses aimed at providing tools and insight to enhance the skills of executives and officers at all levels of government, the private and the not-for-profit sectors.

    Toby has extensive executive public sector experience in governance, service delivery, change management, and organisational design and performance. He developed the Treasury Board Alternate Service Delivery Policy and represented Canada at an OECD public management (PUMA) experts panel examining arm’s-length agency creation.

    He has worked on a number of significant governance and change management initiatives including ones for the RCMP, the Caribbean Development Bank and the creation of the Natural Resources Canada Shared Services Office.
    Toby has significant corporate communications management experience and expertise. He is an Adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of Ottawa and a former federal government head of communication. He led three studies for the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) examining the impact of social media on public sector organisations. He was a broadcaster with CBC radio and television where he produced programs such as The HouseCross Country Checkup, and the first commercial-free version of Ottawa Morning.

    He was editor-in-chief of Canadian Government Executive magazine for five years and is a member of  IPAC.

    He writes regularly on public management issues, both in a weekly e-newsletter for Canadian Government Executive

    • 613-562-0090 ext. 242

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