Evidence review: Behavioural science


While being the primary agent of mitigation and adaptation, human behaviours are the least studied aspect of climate change. With climate change intensifying globally each year, both mitigation and adaptation present heightened challenges for developing countries. Designing environmental and development interventions through a behavioural science lens strengthens the short- and long-term effectiveness of interventions.

This evidence gap map (EGM) consolidates evidence about the science behind interventions that encourage behaviours that propel environmental and development outcomes by individuals, households, communities, and firms in non-Annex I countries.

The specific objectives of this EGM are to:

  1. Identify and describe the available evidence base evaluating the effectiveness of behavioural science interventions on climate, environmental, and development outcomes in non-Annex I countries .
  2. Improve access to this evidence for decision-makers, project implementers, funders, and researchers.
  3. Identify absolute evidence and synthesis evidence gaps in the existing evidence base.

To achieve these objectives, we address the following questions:

  1. What is the extent of experimental and quasi-experimental evidence on the effectiveness of behavioural science interventions conducted in developing countries on environmental and development outcomes?
  2. What are the characteristics of the evidence base?
  3. What are the major gaps in the primary evidence base?

While there is extensive evidence about both effective and ineffective interventions to promote behavioural changes, the evidence has not yet been systematically mapped or synthesised in climate-relevant sectors in developing countries. This review seeks to inform GCF stakeholders and broader decision-makers of the existing evidence for a broad set of  interventions aligned with behavioural science and their outcomes and impacts.