Improving Public Service with Behavioural Economics

CONTEXT

Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Its core focus is to provide research, development and training in the area of productivity and quality to further the competitiveness of key economic sectors. To do so, MPC conducts seminars, workshops, conventions and develops training material and programmes for corporations. In this capacity, MPC works closely with corporations and government ministries to maintain industry standards, foster workplace excellence and drive productivity and high impact innovation.

MPC recognises that Malaysia’s competitiveness can be improved through a suite of initiatives, one of which includes the application of behavioural insights into designing and delivering public policy. Rightly noting that low compliance, increasing costs and ineffective policies have knock-on effects across the government and the general public, MPC has undertaken leadership of developing a Behavioural Insights and Behavioural Economics framework to be shared across government ministries, and commissioned Eden to work alongside MPC and prepare this framework.

APPROACH

Eden’s approach centred around elaborating the two key areas of Behavioural Insights in public policymaking: Policy Design and Policy Delivery. The framework sought to provide a clear, engaging and easy-to-follow guideline by collating international publications and Eden’s prior experiences in Behavioural Insights, as well as our expertise in public service delivery. Balancing academic rigour with real-world examples, the framework localised Behavioural Insights as it best applied to the Malaysian context. As a nascent field in Malaysia, Eden was cognizant of how to deliver practical Behavioural Insights without being overly prescriptive, technical, or academic.

IMPACT

Through a series of roundtable discussions, Eden further elaborated the potential of behavioural insights to improve upon public policy, public service delivery and organisational excellence. The PRIME Framework and publication developed for MPC may be downloaded here. Such efforts have the potential to advance Malaysia towards a globally-competitive country and has wide-ranging implications for the future of government and governance. Today, Eden continues to support MPC in implementing behavioural insights in Malaysia on various initiatives.

Created with Sketch. "Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) engaged Eden in the development of a Behavioural Insights Framework for its application in public policy. MPC’s work with Eden throughout the development of this Framework has been a constructive learning process. Eden consultants are knowledgeable, professional and timely, establishing a solid working relationship from the start. Their ability to pivot and incorporate our requirements as the project progressed meant that the final deliverable met our requirement. Furthermore, Eden established clear communication channels and made regular updates to keep both teams aligned. Their comprehensive approach to the framework meant that each element of the policy cycle was carefully considered. Coupled with insights from their experiences in public policy, the framework as a whole benefited from the teams expertise and we look forward to share the knowledge on Malaysia BI Framework with our relevant stakeholders."

 

Sawiah Abdul Samad

Behavioural Insights Unit, Productivity and Competitiveness Development Division

Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC)

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