Government reaction to WRR report ‘Behavioural insights in policymaking’

On 4 December 2014 the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, set out the government’s reaction to a series of advisory reports on applying knowledge gained from the behavioural sciences in policy, published by the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli), the Dutch Council for Social Development (RMO) and the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR).

Behavioural science

Knowledge from the behavioural sciences can help the government make policy that is more effective and more efficient, and the government sees opportunities in many policy domains for making better use of this knowledge. Several ministries are launching pilot projects to explore the scope for applying this knowledge to one or more policy themes.

Government response

The government believes that there should be scope within the policy process for broad analyses in which the different elements of behaviour can be taken into account. The starting point here is transparency about the policy goals and the interventions made to achieve them. Attention needs to be given to the importance of prior assessments to determine whether a proposed policy intervention is likely to work.