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2023 United Nations Behavioural Science Week
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UN Entities



Coordinated by the UN Behavioural Science (BeSci) Group, the 6th UN Behavioural Science Week brings together 38 UN Entities collaborating across 15 events from June 3rd to 7th 2024. 

Session topics include climate, health, peace and security, information integrity, organisational behaviour, digital technology, and more!


UN BeSci Week events are free of charge and open to all and have in the past attracted attendance and attention from thousands of UN colleagues as well as representatives from governments, academia, civil society, NGOs and the private sector. 


Behavioural science is part of the UN 2.0, the Secretary-General's vision of a modernised UN system with cutting-edge skills and forward-thinking culture for stronger results, better Member State support and greater impact towards the Sustainable Development Goals.


Featured Speakers - more to be announced!  


Amina J. Mohammed



Volker Türk

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Professor Katy Milkman

The Wharton School

 University of Pennslyvannia

Cass R. Sunstein_Rose Lincoln.png


Cass Sunstein

Professor of Law

Harvard University


Jyotsna Puri

Associate Vice-President



Ozonnia Ojielo

UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda


Ana Balsa

Professor of Economics

Universidad de Montevido


Sarah Hendriks

Director Policy, Programme



UN Women


Claudia da Costa Martinelli Wehbe

Director of Innovation Department

Government of Brazil

+ 50 more from the UN and beyond! 

Thematic areas


Climate and Environment


Data and Foresight

Information Integrity

 Digital Technology

Organisational Behaviour

Getting started with BeSci

Peace and Security

What participants said about the last UN Behavioural Science Week

"Diverse and content-rich" 
"Excellent presentations and important research"
"Outstanding activities during the whole week!"

2024 UN Behavioural Science Week Agenda

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Wednesday, May 29th

* Held the Week before 2024 UN Behavioural Science Week

9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

Behavioural Science and UN 2.0

Behavioural Science and UN 2.0


What is behavioural science and how is the UN applying it? This session will provide an introduction to what behavioural science technically is, the value it is providing to the UN and Member States as well as what it means to be part of UN 2.0


It will include remarks from Professor Cass Sunstein (Harvard University)and the EOSG in addition to behavioural scientists working in the UN speaking about how they apply BeSci. 


This session aims to set up participants with an introductory understanding and relevant context about BeSci in the UN ahead of UN Behavioural Science Week. 


Monday, June 3rd

9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

High-level Opening: Embedding BeSci into the work of the UN

High level opening: Embedding Behavioural Science into the work of the UN


The High-level Opening session of the 2024 UN Behavioural Science Week will discuss how UN Entities are and can further embed behavioural science into their work.


This event will feature remarks from Deputy-Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Volker Türk (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), Jyotsna Puri (Associate Vice-President, IFAD), Ozonnia Ojeilo (Resident Coordinator in Rwanda), Sarah Hendriks (Director Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division, UN Women) and Professor Ana Balsa (Universidad de Montevideo). 


11 am EDT / 5 pm CEST

Cultivating a Data-Driven Culture with Behavioural Science

Cultivating a Data-Driven Culture with BeSci


A strong culture of data is integral to successfully implementing behavioural science, but the relationship is bi-directional. Behavioural science can foster a culture of data-driven decision-making, in addition to improved understanding of causal inference in international organisations.


In this session, UNICEF will highlight initiatives to emphasise causal relationships in program evaluation. The IMF will share insights on overcoming behavioural barriers to adopting innovative data strategies. UNEG and WIPO will discuss their approach to enhancing the impact of evaluations by understanding and leveraging human behaviour. This session will feature opening remarks by Jim Tebrake (Deputy Director, IMF).


Tuesday, June 4th

7 am EDT / 1 pm CEST

Foresight meets Behavioural Science

Foresight meets Behavioural Science


UNDRR, UNFCCC, UN Futures Lab, UN Global Pulse & WMU

UN 2.0, the Secretary-General’s vision for a

forward-thinking and stronger UN, leverages "Quintet of Change" capabilities that include behavioural science and strategic foresight. Behavioural science helps us better understand human behaviours - strategic foresight enables us to anticipate different scenarios and behaviours that could play out in the future.


Presentations in this event will discuss the efforts of UNDRR, UNFCCC, UN Futures Lab, UN Global Pulse and WMU in combining these capabilities to create behaviourally-informed, resilient and anticipatory


UNDRR, UNFCCC, UN Futures Lab, UN Global Pulse & WMU

9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

Evidence that BeSci Can Meet Policy and Programming Challenges Science

Evidence BeSci Can Meet Policy and Programming Challenges


How can behavioural science most successfully address pressing policy and programming challenges? What can we learn about what it takes to change behaviour for good from large field experiments and advanced analytics?


Join us for a session discussing these questions and more with Professor Katy Milkman (University of Pennsylvania). We will take a tour discussing behavioural science insights with policy and programming applications, covering a range of topics from megastudies to habit formation. Learn about different ways of applying behavioural science and how they relate to the work of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals. Come with your questions for Professor Milkman!


11 am EDT / 5 pm CEST

Using Behavioural Science to Promote Information Integrity

Using Behavioural Science to Promote Information Integrity


UN Entities are employing behaviourally-informed approaches to promote information integrity across their areas of operation.


In this session, DPO will speak about its use of data science to identify inauthentic behavioural patterns in digital media data, such as signatures of malicious actors spreading harmful narratives. UNDP will share their “Together We Talk” toolkit, and how it helps to identify and counter the spread of harmful speech in digital spaces through a BeSci approach. UNHCR will present a response to online harms, including insights from ‘prebunking’ interventions to disinformation campaigns in a volatile humanitarian context.


Wednesday, June 5th

7 am EDT / 1 pm CEST

Behavioural Approaches to Bridging the Informal/Formal Divide

Behavioural Approaches to Bridging the Informal/Formal Divide


For many people, having bank accounts and retirement benefits are a given. Most working people however have neither: 60% of the world’s employed population are in the informal economy, with no social security benefits, and only 40% of adults are banked. Although formalisation provides access to human rights, most institutions are designed to serve the formal sector, putting the onus on individuals to bridge the divide. 


This session will showcase behavioural approaches from the ILO and UNCDF to bridge this divide including promoting social security registration of domestic workers and increasing savings through digital financial services.


9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

Gender and Behavioural Science

Gender and Behavioural Science

UNDP, UNODC & World Bank

BeSci can reshape gender policy by uncovering how biases, mental models and social norms influence behaviours and social structures perpetuating gender inequality. 


This event will highlight strategies to address unequal social and gender norms. The World Bank will provide guidance on how to apply a social norms lens to gender policy and interventions. UNDP will discuss their "Brave Schools" initiative, which changed perspectives and behaviours around gender issues through dialogue and reflection on social norms. UNODC will demonstrate how gendered norms shape experiences with organised crime and how behavioural science can inform gender-sensitive policies.



11 am EDT / 5 pm CEST

Behavioural Science and Organisational Behaviour

Behavioural Science and Organisational Culture/Behaviour



Behavioural science is not only applied to external-facing policies and programmes – the UN is also exploring its application when it comes to organisational culture and behaviour.


This session will highlight experiences from DESA, DOS, DMSPC, IAEA and UNSSC applying behavioural science to change the way organisations work. It will include discussion about the application of BeSci in operations, changing mindsets in public institutions, fostering UN values and behaviours, and organisational culture in the area of atomic energy.


Thursday, June 6th

7 am EDT / 1 pm CEST

Getting Started

with Behavioural Science in the UN

Getting Started with Behavioural Science in the UN


Many UN colleagues are thinking about how to get started with behavioural science. What are some of the lessons learned from UN colleagues who have progressed along their BeSci journey?


This session will feature discussions with DCO, FAO, ICAO, IOM and UNESCO who will share their experiences starting with and progressing behavioural science application. The discussion will cover topics including scoping projects, how behavioural science can leverage lessons from other areas of innovation, and how to garner organisational support.


9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

Behavioural Initiatives for a Sustainable Planet

Behavioural Initiatives for a Sustainable Planet

OHCHR, UNEP, UNU & World Bank

The Earth's temperature has risen by around 1.1°C in the past 200 years, and projections indicate continued increase. Heightened human activity is straining natural resources, exacerbating environmental degradation, and impacting global well-being.


This session will examine sustainability initiatives by OHCHR, UNEP, UNU, and the World Bank, utilising BeSci. UNU will present research on sustainable consumption. OHCHR will showcase a behaviour change pilot for organisational sustainability. The World Bank will share outcomes from clean energy interventions and a toolkit for energy access programs. UNEP will discuss insights from its flagship Global Environment Outlook report, integrating BeSci.

OHCHR, UNEP, UNU & World Bank

11 am EDT / 5 pm CEST

The Future of BeSci for Peace and Security

The Future of Behavioural Science for Peace and Security


The future of behavioural science in peace and security heralds a nuanced approach to tackling global conflicts and threats, leveraging deep insights into human psychology and behaviour. With advancements in technology, these insights enable more precise, culturally sensitive strategies for conflict prevention and resolution. This approach promises a shift towards interventions that address the root causes of conflict, emphasising human-centric solutions and ethical considerations.


In this session, DPPA and OCT will discuss behavioural science applications in the context of peace and security with Professor Mina Cikara (Harvard University) and Andrés Casas (Neuropaz).


Friday, June 7th

7 am EDT / 1 pm CEST

Engaging Partners in Behavioural Science

Collaborating with Partners to apply Behavioural Science


Applying behavioural science is a team effort – it involves collaboration amongst various partners.


This session will discuss how partnerships can enhance the impact of behavioural science applications, from local to global levels. FAO, UNICEF, WHO and their partners will speak about work across a range of objectives, including working with local government officials to understand the merits of BeSci, collaborating with a country to set up a BeSci team and lessons learned from forming global and regional BeSci agreements.


9 am EDT / 3 pm CEST

Applying Behavioural Science in Health

Applying Behavioural Science

in Health


Behaviour plays a central role in preventing and responding to many health issues, such as nutrition, cancer screening, vaccine uptake and HIV prevention. Using case studies leveraging behavioural science from project conception to impact evaluation, this session offers a ‘peek behind the scenes’ of practical insights from applying behavioural science in the domain of health.


UNAIDS, UNICEF and WHO will present concrete examples of methods, tools, frameworks and lessons learnt, providing a view to how behavioural science can effectively address pressing health challenges.


11 am EDT / 5 pm CEST

BeSci & Technology as Tools to Address Sexual Harassment

BeSci and Technology as Tools to Address Sexual Harassment


Technology can help to overcome some of the barriers people face in reporting sexual harassment, such as through facilitating interaction between victims and support institutions. However, the manner in which this is done can impact effectiveness.


In this session, IFAD will share the results of a behavioural audit and how it is being used to address behavioural barriers to report sexual harassment. A panel of IFAD, WFP and UNFPA will then discuss the applicability of BeSci to their work on sexual harassment and relevant behaviours that could be addressed using BeSci.

Learn More

Beyond the week - join us! 


The UN Behavioural Science Group brings together over 5,000 UN colleagues from 70+ UN Entities and 140+ countries, as well as several thousand non-UN observers from Member States, academia, civil society, NGOs, private sector among others. It is an initiative of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the UN Innovation Network.

UN collaborators


We are seeking individuals to engage with us who have made impactful contributions through work or research in behavioural science as it relates to the Sustainable Development Goals and the mandates of the UN. We are particularly interested in engaging with colleagues from Member States, academia, NGOs and civil society. Sign up below! 

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