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Behavioral Insights for Better Urban Services

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Rutgers Unversity–Newark, Paul Robeson Campus Center

Behavioral Insights for Better Urban Services

Learning from Lab@DC and GovLabPHL

This half-day workshop will highlight ways in which organizations can use behavioral science and evidence-based research to make public services and social programs simpler and more effective.

Organized by the Center for Experimental and Behavioral Public Administration (CEBPA) at Rutgers University–Newark's School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), the workshop will center on experiences and lessons learned from two of the first behavioral insights teams to operate successfully in major cities in the Northeast: Lab@DC (in Washington, DC) and GovLabPHL (in the City of Philadelphia). Workshop participants will learn how these teams were created, how they operate, what partnerships they have formed with universities and others, and what challenges and opportunities they face. Additionally, the DC and Philadelphia teams will share case studies from some of their behavioral strategies and proven service innovations. Rutgers SPAA faculty will also share some of their recent research on the behavioral basis of urban services. The overall aim of the workshop is to learn how behavioral insights can be used to improve urban services and community quality of life through collaborations between applied behavioral scientists and organizations providing urban services.

Friday, January 18, 2019
12 to 5 p.m.

Paul Robeson Campus Center, Essex Room
Rutgers University–Newark
350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Newark, NJ 07102


  • 12pm — Opening reception and lunch
  • 12:15pm — Welcoming remarks
  • 12:30pm — Introduction and overview
  • 12:45pm — Panel I: Behavioral science teams in city government — challenges and accomplishments
    • The Lab@DC
    • GovLabPHL
  • 2:15pm — Coffee break
  • 2:30pm — Panel II: Behavioral insights at work — findings from the field
    • Lab@DC projects and findings
    • GovLabPHL projects and findings
  • 4pm — Roundtable discussion
  • 4:45 pm — Closing reception