Policy making normally follows a top-down approach. But, during the Coronavirus crisis governments need to find innovative solutions on how to change social norms, e.g. how to make people to regularly wash their hands, or sneeze into their sleeves. As this means changing a habit, the traditional top-down approach cannot be applied.
To instill better habits, the UK government used the “Nudge Theory”. The approach – which assumes people don’t always act in their own best interests, or those of society and therefore government needs to ease the way towards making better decisions – helped government to come up with useful ideas to prevent face-touching.
This initiative was started by The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), a company part-owned by the UK Cabinet Office. You can find more information here.