Nigerian Policy Innovation Center

What is PIC
PIC – Policy Innovation Centre – is a not-for-profit centre within the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, and the first public policy institution in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa dedicated to applying behavioural theory and other innovative policy tools to inform programme/policy design and implementation in Africa.

The PIC was launched on Monday, 25th October, 2021.

To improve the design and implementation of government policies and programmes in Nigeria through lessons from behavioural and social science as well as other policy tools.

Through behavioural and social science research and works:
1. Support improved policy design and programme implementation in Nigeria;
2. Support ongoing efforts on critical priorities such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and
3. Embed a culture of evidence-based policy making in government.

Evolution of the PIC
In 2017, the Gates Foundation funded the establishment of a temporary behavioural science team (the ‘interim Policy Innovation Unit (PIU)) in Nigeria, as a proof of concept to assess whether a nudge unit could work in the Nigerian context and help improve public sector outcomes. The interim PIU worked closely with the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) for about two years (January 2018 – September 2019) to design and test behavioural interventions for four NSIO programmes. The interim PIU demonstrated the effectives of behavioural applications within the Nigerian context for the NSIO Programmes and was successful on a number of fronts. It gained buy-in from Government stakeholders to run behavioural interventions; and several of these interventions showed positive results, improving both financial performance and outcomes of the programmes. NESG now has the opportunity to join a growing number of countries around the world – and is one of the first on the African continent – to establishing and institutionalise a behavioural interventions centre to further support policy reform in Nigeria and Africa at large.

What is RPA’s role with the PIC
The PIC is a sponsored project of RPA with the funding support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sarah Aasbo (Financial Inclusion Program Director) was the lead on the interim PIC project, and the PIC setup project was led by Segilola Adeola (Sr. Advisor, SP&F), with the support of Nicholas Hodges, SVP & COO of RPA and Henrietta Bankole-Olusina, Program Director, RPA Nigeria. RPA will continue to be involved in providing technical assistance and capacity building support to the PIC team.

What’s next?
The interim PIU and launch event garnered interest and appreciation of a behavioural science unit in Nigeria. PIC has begun work and will continue working on projects geared towards its mission and vision. Current initiatives and projects of the centre include:
1. Rapid assessment to identify priority areas and considerations for the implementation of behavioural insights (BI) in Nigeria. This includes – stakeholder mapping, surveys, engagement workshops, interviews etc.
2. Harnessing behavioural insights to improve transparency in Nigeria (MacArthur Foundation). This includes needs assessment, capacity development, behavioural intervention, policy advisory and advocacy.