Design for Government: Human-centric governance through experiments

The report for the Design for Government project published in June 2015 proposed a new, quick-toimplement
model for including experiments and behavioural approaches into Finnish policy design. The
use of behavioural approaches as part of governmental steering has been shown to make policy more
user-orientated, targeted and efficient. The project was inspired by international examples, including
experiments such as the one from the UK where tweaked tax return notices resulted in millions of
pounds of savings in three short weeks (Hallsworth et al., 2014), or the scheme that personalised text
message reminders on unpaid fines, which was estimated to benefit the UK government by over 800,000
pounds worth of additional payments each week (Haynes et al., 2013).
Chapter 3 has now been translated into English for a broader audience and use. Originally this
chapter advised that the Finnish government should incorporate a two-year behavioural knowledge
based experimentation system into its government plan this parliamentary term. In practice, this meant
that while planning its policy, the government should evaluate its decisions based on knowledge about
human behaviour. This addition would help make Finnish government both more open and effective in
its operations.