In Ealing we had a partner who was prepared to think boldly, be radical and take behavioural science and demand management to the next level.
Conversations with the chief executive and programme commissioners followed and together we identified our set of behavioural trials across a range of universal services including commercial fly tipping, recycling and housing repairs.
Getting started and methodology
iMPOWER used a blend of old and new data analysis, iMPOWER consulting methods, Ealing’s community intelligence and our tested insights in to demand and behaviour change work to craft a set of trials, with 12 demand-generating behaviours targeted.
The trials consisted of several behaviour-change approaches to shift behaviour on the ground.
Reducing commercial fly tipping:
A leaflet campaign portrayed positive messages to businesses about ‘normal’ commercial waste behaviour. For example, 70% of businesses in the borough use council services to remove their waste. The leaflet also signposted businesses to sign up to the council’s commercial waste disposal service (a process which the council then simplified as a result of this project).
Reducing missed housing repair appointments:
Techniques and processes were put in place with staff at the call centre to encourage customers to stick to their housing repair appointments. For example, customers were asked to both write down their appointment and to repeat back that time over the phone.
Increasing household recycling:
A leaflet campaign highlighted ‘normal’ recycling behaviour in the area and thanked those who do recycle. The leaflet also highlighted that the recycling service is already paid for by residents through council tax which encouraged residents to make use of the service.
For all trials ‘middle performing’ areas were used for the trial and control areas. These areas were identified by staff working in that service.
The design and trial approach worked so effectively in Ealing that the council now has even greater ambitions for the role of behavioural interventions and demand management. This way of working – of asking different questions and actively seeking answers within our communities and workforces – represents a change of mindset that traditional programmes just cannot replicate.
We create new value with our clients and in doing so believe that our work can help organisations change the way they see the world.
iMPOWER is a values led consultancy dedicated to the reform of the public sector.