B4Development Foundation played activerole in boosting health, security during WC

January 7, 2023

The B4Development Foundation has recorded several important achievements over the past year, as it contributed actively to a range of activities during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in order to set new standards in terms of the contribution of behavioural sciences to mega sporting events.

The Foundation, which was set up in 2016 by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) as one of the legacy projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, has cooperated with many partners to disseminate targeted messages and alerts to influence the behaviour of fans during the tournament, including cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote healthy food options in the eight stadiums that hosted the competition, and the FIFA Fan Fest.

Director of B4Development Dr. Fadi Makki said that the World Cup witnessed fans being guided and helped to lead healthy lifestyles, and it is the first time that behavioural science has been used in a World Cup in such a systematic way. The Foundation has always been keen to take advantage of the tournament to promote healthier lifestyles in Qatar and the region, he added.

B4Development Foundation supported the World Cup by preparing specially designed messages to alert fans of the need to submit their applications early to obtain the mandatory Hayya card to attend the matches, which was like an entry permit to the country, as well as urging them to use public transportation to attend the matches and the activities of the FIFA Fan Festival, and to follow environmentally sustainable behaviour in the World Cup stadiums.

The Foundation’s initiatives have extended to include other areas, as it continued to cooperate with the Ministry of Public Health by conducting a nationwide experiment through which decision makers learned about the healthy lifestyles and eating habits of citizens and residents of Qatar.

In June, B4D expanded its reach by assisting in the setting up of a similar behavioural insights initiative in Pakistan. Working with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, B4D supported with the establishment of the MindLab Behavioural Insights Unit. B4D specifically supported on institutional aspects of the set-up, along with capacity building for the new MindLab team. The MindLab team immediately began using nudges to improve tax payments within its jurisdiction.

In June 2022, the foundation has helped to set up a similar behavioural insights initiative in Pakistan, in cooperation with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to provide knowledge, technical and institutional support, as the MindLab Behavioural Insights Unit supervises the training of work teams and provides them with the skills and expertise necessary to implement, measure and evaluate behavioural experiments. The MindLab team began using nudges to improve tax payments within its jurisdiction.

A month later, in July, B4D participated in the Concordia Americas Summit 2022. During the global gathering, B4D discussed their work as part of the partnership between Generation Amazing and Concacaf. The initiative will see behavioural science used across 41 countries to behaviourally inform, monitoring and evaluate social policies. This will work to ensure that the legacy of Qatar 2022 impacts disenfranchised communities around the world.

In this context, Dr. Makki added that through our partnerships in Qatar and around the world, we are promoting the use of behavioural science as a tool to build healthier, smarter and safer societies. This past year proved that nudge units like B4D have an important role to play in policymaking, and making a difference to people’s lives, and that is something that we will carry with us going into the future.

Founded in 2016 by the SC as the Qatar Behavioural Insights Unit, and incubated in the Office of the Secretary General, B4D is the Middle East and North Africa region’s first behavioural insights and nudge unit. In 2019, B4D was officially incorporated as a foundation under the Qatar Financial Centre, with a broader mandate to promote and replicate its nudge work and model around the world.

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