Ethical Considerations When Applying Behavioural Science in Projects Focused on Children

Discussion paper and toolkit


Evidence increasingly shows applied behavioural science can positively impact childhood development and contribute to reducing inequalities. However, it is important for practitioners to reflect on the ethical considerations. For example, are you confident that the intervention is unlikely to have unintended harmful consequences? Or, is it easy for child recipients to opt out of the intervention?

To better understand these impacts, we consulted children in Australia, Chile and Ghana, interviewed subject matter experts and practitioners, and conducted a targeted literature review. This paper distills our findings and provides examples of how evidence-based interventions can meaningfully impact children’s futures. It is accompanied by a toolkit to guide and support practitioners through key ethical decision points.

Document cover
Karen Tindall; Lydia Hayward; Emma Hunt; Benjamin Hickler
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