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How We Work

The BIRD Lab Approach

The BIRD Lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to applying Behavioural Science.

We work directly with stakeholders to make sure we are focusing on the right problems, using participatory methods to inform the co-design and experimental testing of solutions that are grounded in evidence and tailored to be both appropriate and effective in context.

Our approach draws on a combination of methods and frameworks from human-centred design and systems thinking to achieve social and behavioural change.

We use a combination of methods and frameworks from human-centred design and systems thinking to achieve social and behavioural change.

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Behavioural Science

...gives us the evidence about human cognition and decision making to formulate a deep understanding of how features of a given social context may drive or prevent specific behaviours.


Systems Thinking

...allows us to approach issues with a pathway to scale, by taking into consideration the wider structural and systemic factors affecting behaviours.


Human-Centred Design

...enables us to connect with the lived experiences of end users, helping ensure solutions are appropriate and tailored to the context.


The BIRD Lab’s methodology to implement behavioural science draws on the DEPTHS approach:



We start by taking time to be sure we are precise about what problem and which specific behaviours we are working to address.



Explore and Diagnose

We use research and data to understand the sociocultural, environmental, and psychological factors at play.

Explore and Diagnose



We use human-centred design methods to co-create tentative solutions directly with the people who will use them.



Test Hypotheses

We use implementation research and experimental methods to iteratively trial and adapt initiatives in context.

Test Hypotheses



We solve with a systems lens, scaling by learning and learning by scaling.


What BIRD Lab Offers

The BIRD Lab is an inclusive and collaborative space for UNICEF staff and partners to share experiences, connect with colleagues and inspire others using experimentation and innovation in the application of behavioural science.

Evidence to Action

We work in collaboration with countries and implementing partners to solve challenges through:

  • Provision of technical assistance
  • Support to co-creation and scale-up of people-centred, evidence-informed solutions
  • Experimentation and evaluation of initiatives in context

Training and Capacity Building

We develop and share training and capacity building tools and resources for ethically integrating behavioural insights into UNICEF programming.

We work with regional offices, country teams, and partners to build sustainable capacity and solve priority challenges.

Evidence generation, synthesis, and knowledge brokering

Thought Partnership and Convening

We convene policy makers, academics, and leaders to innovate and apply insights from the behavioural sciences to the most pressing challenges facing children.


WEIRD = Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democracies


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