Applying Behavioural Insights to Public Policy (BI) Masterclass |

Applying Behavioural Insights to Public Policy (BI) Masterclass

Policy-makers around the world have also begun to take seriously the insights offered by behavioural economics and psychology. Instead of assuming that our citizens are the rational, interest-maximising agents we find in economics textbooks, behavioural economics starts with the more realistic assumption that people are affected by various cognitive complications. A growing body of research shows a number of situations in which individuals act in ways that run counter to the predictions of standard economics. Our rationality, self-control and self-interest are all bounded in ways that have important implications for the way governments design, implement and communicate policies.

Policy-makers are often faced with the pressure of making timely, high quality solutions in an environment where time and information are lacking. These two fields of research which have transformed economics are no longer just good-to-know; they are must-knows for public officials.

In partnership with the world’s leading authority on behavioural insights, Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy will offer a masterclass on Applying Behavioural Insights to Public Policy on 3 – 7 July 2017.

Key Information

Programme date 3 Jul 2017 - 7 Jul 2017
Venue: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772
Programme cost:

SS$4,725 + 7% GST

#Group Discount: For three (3) paying participants from the same organisation, the fourth participant attends FREE.

*Fee is inclusive of lunch, refreshments and learning support materials


Executive Education Department
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772

Tel: (65) 6516 8697
Fax: (65) 6872 9291

Application Deadline: 16 Jun 2017

Programme Objectives

Through the programme, participants will:

  • Understand the heuristics and cognitive complications that people often rely on to make decisions
  • Develop the necessary skills to apply behavioural insights in policy development and service delivery
  • Learn the tools and frameworks to design policies intended to shape and influence behaviours
  • Gain a behaviourally-informed perspective on policy communications

Target Audience

This masterclass is designed for policy analysts, researchers, managers, and other government professionals in policy and service delivery functions. It is also suitable for middle and senior level practitioners from non-profit organisations and service providers.


Donald Low
Associate Dean (Executive Education & Research) & Associate Professor (Practice), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Donald Low is Associate Dean (Research and Executive Education) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Besides leading the School’s executive education efforts, he also heads its Case Study Unit. His research interests at the School include economics in public policy, inequality and social spending, behavioural economics, public finance, organisational change, and governance and politics in Singapore.

Prior to his current appointment, Donald served 15 years in the Singapore government in various senior positions. During that time, he established the Centre for Public Economics at the Civil Service College of Singapore. He was Director of Fiscal Policy at the Ministry of Finance from 2004 to 2005, and Director of Strategic Policy Office in the Public Service Division from 2006 to 2007. Donald holds a double first in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Masters in International Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is currently Vice President at the Economics Society of Singapore.

Samuel Hanes
Director, Singapore Behavioural Insights Team

Samuel is the director of our new Singapore office, formally opening in September 2016. He joined the UK-based Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) shortly after it was created in 2010 as the team’s first economist. He has worked in a number of roles at BIT and on a large number of UK government policies, including: health, crime, energy & sustainability, taxation, unemployment, and economic growth. Until June 2016, Samuel was the team’s UK director for economic growth and productivity. In this role, he led projects on business growth, female labour market participation, disability & employment, apprenticeships, and exporting. Before working at BIT, Samuel was an economist at the Home Office (the UK ministry for Home Affairs) primarily focused on the economics of crime and policing. He holds a degree in Economics from Durham University.

Chen Kang
Professor & Director (MPAM and Chinese Executive Education) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Chen Kang is currently professor and director of Master in Public Administration and Management programme (MPAM) and Chinese Executive Education Programmes at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore (NUS).  He received his B.Sc. in mathematics from Xiamen University in 1982, his M.Sc. in applied mathematics from Ohio University in 1984,and his Ph.D. in economics and applied mathematics from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1990.  He worked at the World Bank’s Socialist Economies Reform Unit and subsequently taught at NUS and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  He was Head of the Economics Division at NTU from 1999 to 2005. He was also the Wang Yanan Chair Professor of Economics at Xiamen University from 2007 to 2012.

Dr. Chen has published widely on issues relating to macroeconomic modelling, economic reform and development, and the economic role of government in professional journals, including Journal of Comparative Economics, European Journal of Political Economy, China Economic Review, China Economic Quarterly, International Journal of Public Administration, and Economic Modelling.  He is author of The Chinese Economy in Transition: Micro Changes and Macro Implications (Singapore University Press, 1995).  His current research interests include behavioural economics, macroeconomic models, and China’s economic reform.  Dr. Chen served as vice president of the Economic Society of Singapore and director of the East Asian Economic Association.  He currently serves on the editorial board of the European Journal of Political Economy, the advisory board of China Economic Quarterly and World Economic Papers. Dr. Chen also served as a consultant to Asian Development Bank, Singapore Trade Development Board, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Housing & Development Board, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, and several multinational corporations.

Dr Serene Koh
Senior Advisor, Singapore Behavioural Insights Team

Serene is Senior Advisor at BIT Singapore. She’s been with the Singapore office since it opened in September 2016. She works in various capacities at BIT including research design, analysis, and capability building, particularly in the areas of social cohesion and education. Serene has conducted training in behavioural insights with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Manpower, and with both government and non-government institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Before joining BIT, Serene worked in Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information where she led the Research Department’s behavioural insights work on a variety of issues such as housing, population, and retirement adequacy. Serene holds a Masters in Research Methodology and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan

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