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Forge Ahead: UPM and Collaborative Expansion in Focus

We first learned about UPM UNICEF C4D during our attendance at the Asia Pacific Social and Behaviour Change Communication Regional Symposium in October 2023. It was there that we discovered they were also engaged in work related to behaviour insights. This realization sparked our interest in connecting with them to explore potential areas of collaboration.


UPM UNICEF C4D Programme is a partnership between UPM & UNICEF, particularly with the communication department in the Faculty of Communication and Modern Languages. The partnership is an initiative by both parties to provide trainings and consultation services, modules development as well as action research and interventions within the scope of mental health in communication. We were glad to have hosted the meeting on March 7th, 2024, during which we discussed further potential collaborations, particularly in conducting behaviour insights projects, capacity building, and developing behaviour insights learning materials. Dr. Diyana Kasimon, Deputy Director of UPM UNICEF C4D, led the team along with her delegation. Their presence marked a significant step forward in fostering long term collaboration between BI Unit and UPM UNICEF C4D.

The BI Unit IHBR

Guiding Towards Wellness Hub Services

The Wellness Hub is one of the initiatives under the Ministry of Health Malaysia aimed at enhancing community health quality by promoting healthy lifestyles, health promotion services, self-care, and environmental cleanliness. The BI Unit is pleased to shed light on effective methods for encouraging community engagement with services at all 33 Wellness Hubs currently established across the country. Dr. Saiful, Head of the BI Unit, emphasized the significance of conducting a thorough behavioural diagnosis and understanding the community profile.


He highlighted that this data serves as a crucial baseline for crafting targeted intervention strategies with the potential to make an impact, effectively addressing specific needs and preferences. This ensures that the Wellness Hub's services are accessible and appealing to all. The session was held in conjunction with the Wellness Hub Management and Technical Meeting on 7th March 2024, with the attendance of Wellness Hub coordinators from across the nation.

The BI Unit IHBR

Thank you Johor!

On March 5th, 2024, the BI Unit received an invitation from the Health Promotion Unit of the Johor State Health Department to discuss a proposed behaviour insights project. The meeting primarily aimed to explore potential strategies to promote healthier behaviours, especially among school children.


A comprehensive proposal was presented, targeting the promotion of healthy lifestyle among school-aged children. Dr. Saiful, the Head of BI Unit, critically reviewed the technical aspects of the proposed project and provided valuable feedback to enhance its effectiveness. Entry Additionally the Johor Health Department sought advice and clarification regarding the classification of previous health promotion projects within the community as behaviour insights initiatives specifically about projects related to waste management and community participation in weekly mass cleaning activities.

The collaboration between BI Unit and the Johor Health Department underline the importance of expanding behavioural insights to design and implement impactful health promotion strategies. Through such partnerships and initiatives, efforts to foster healthier lifestyles and communities can be significantly enhanced.

The BI Unit IHBR

Integrating behavioral insights into competency-based training at the Ministry of Health.

Our ongoing commitment to enhancing the utilization of behavioral insights within the Ministry of Health (MOH) remains steadfast, as we actively seek opportunities to incorporate behavior insights into competency-based training programs. In line with this objective, we organized a three-day workshop at the Scholars Suite in Tanjung Malim Perak from February 27th to 29th. The workshop aimed to introduce behavioral insights to several representatives responsible for organizing competency-based training within MOH.

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During the workshop, Ms. Durra delivered a comprehensive presentation highlighting the significance of applying behavioral insights in policy formulation. She emphasized the relevance of behavioral insights in addressing various challenges faced by the healthcare sector. This discussion is particularly significant, as it aligns with the WHO Resolution on Behavioral Sciences for Better Health, demonstrating Malaysia's commitment to prioritizing behavioral insights as a crucial agenda item. By sharing insights and knowledge on the integration of behavioral insights into competency-based training, we aim to equip MOH representatives with the tools and understanding necessary to effectively incorporate behavioral science principles into their training programs

The BI Unit IHBR

Leveraging behavioral insights: World Bank Group Seminar on Policy Impact

The BI Unit was delighted to receive an invitation from the World Bank Group Malaysia to attend the Seminar on Behavioral Insights for Policy Impact scheduled for February 27th, 2024. This invitation signifies recognition of the unit's expertise and contribution in utilizing behavioral insights to inform policy decisions and drive positive societal impact. The seminar aimed to provide participants with a global overview of country experiences and best practices regarding the utilization of behavioral and social insights from economics, psychology, and related fields to address policy challenges.

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These encompassed adjusting social incentives around tax payments, enhancing student learning, improving health outcomes, and promoting energy and resource conservation. Through the seminar, the World Bank sought to engage in a strategic dialogue on the opportunities to integrate behavioral insights into policy interventions in Malaysia. A total of three presentation covering diverse topics on behavior insights were delivered including:

  1. Michelle Dugas, a behavioral scientist with the World Bank’s Mind, Behavior & Development Unit (eMBeD), within the Poverty and Equity Global Practice on Behavioral Science in Policies – Global Review of Country Experiences and Best Practice
  2. Jonathan George Karver, a Behavioral Scientist with the World Bank’s behavioral science unit on behavioral insights for tax compliance.
  3. Bambang Suharkono Sjahrir, a Senior Economist of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank sharing on Indonesian experience with behavioral science in policies.


The Science of behavior change: Beyond common assumptions

From January 29th to 31st, Dr. Saiful Adli bin Suhaimi, Head of the Behavior Insights Unit, was invited to participate in the Workshop for the Production of Promotional Materials for the National Health Promotion Campaign 2024/2025, hosted in Port Dickson. The workshop was organized by the Health Education Division and attended by various health professionals, including pharmacists, medical officers, dietitians, and health education officers.

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During this workshop, Dr. Saiful delivered a comprehensive two-hour lecture focusing on the content development for the campaign as well as employing nudges as a strategic approach. His presentation emphasized the critical importance of interpreting baseline data to ensure that the campaign strategy is custom-tailored to effectively target specific demographics and induce behavior change. This insightful discourse aimed to equip attendees with the necessary knowledge and tools to craft impactful promotional materials that resonate with the intended audience and drive tangible health outcomes.

The BI Unit IHBR

Behaviour insights refresher: Empowering our team for success

In a significant stride towards fostering a shared understanding of applying behaviour insights for health, our team recently concluded a highly successful CME on 4th January 2024. This initiative aimed at ensuring every team member in IHBR is equipped with the knowledge and understanding the concept and definition of behaviour science and behaviour insights contributing to a unified approach in our pursuit of health-related goals. Through interactive sessions participants gained valuable insights into the dynamics of individual and collective behaviours.

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The successful completion of the refresher course signifies a milestone achievement for our team, establishing a consistent level of understanding in the application of behaviour insights for health. This shared knowledge base is expected to enhance our decision-making processes, drive positive health-related behaviours, and ultimately contribute to the overall success of our organization. The commitment of our team to ongoing learning and development reflects our dedication to staying at the forefront of advancements in healthcare and ensuring the highest standard of care for those we serve.

The BI Unit IHBR




Welcoming the year of 2024!

Behaviour science are now focusing not only on individual actions but also on the behavior of entire systems that can adapt and change. This shift recognizes that the outcomes of policies often come from the dynamic and sometimes unpredictable interactions of many individuals, groups, and institutions within a large network. In these complex systems, people interact in ways that aren't coordinated, leading to patterns at the system level that can't be easily predicted by looking at individual behaviours or preferences. The intricate nature of human behavior, influenced by diverse cultural and societal factors, poses difficulties in crafting interventions that effectively address these complexities. Balancing the need for valuable insights with concerns surrounding data privacy and ethical considerations remains pivotal. The integration of behavioural interventions into existing healthcare systems requires concerted efforts to align with clinical practices and policies. Sustaining positive behaviour change over the long term and ensuring inclusivity in technological advancements are ongoing challenges. Additionally, resource constraints, adaptability to unforeseen health crises, and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration between psychology, medicine, public health, and data science are crucial considerations in navigating the evolving landscape of behavioural insights in health for the year 2024.

The BI Unit IHBR


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