How did the governments Behavioural Insights Team double the number of people in the UK registering as Organ Donor’s?
Opinion polls suggest that 9 out of 10 people support organ donation, but in the past fewer than 1 in 3 people registered.
The Behavioural Insights Team, in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), the Government Digital Service (GDS, who run GOV.UK), the Department for Health (DH), and the Driving & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) created a simple adaptation to the online Driver Licence Application process that has resulted in over half of organ donor registrations (over half a million new registrations per year) coming from this DVLA online Drive Licence Application process.
The simple adaptation was to ensure a tick box was completed before being allowed to move to the next step in the application process. Previously the applicant could move on without ticking any box. It was important that a box was not ticked by default as this is another strong ‘nudge’ which may be argued, does not give people free choice.
These ‘Nudge’ techniques have primarily been the reserve of government and big businesses due to the investment in research. The research has evolved to the point that standard human behaviour patterns have been identified and can form the basis of ‘nudges’ in any business. As these ‘nudges’ often require small changes and cost little they can now equally be used by small businesses.