calendar_today October 26, 2022

B4D Legacy Majlis event discusses the role of bureaucrats in designing happy user journeys

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The keynote speaker was Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler

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B4D Legacy Majlis Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler

B4 Development (B4D) – a Qatar 2022 legacy project launched by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) – recently hosted its seventh Legacy Majlis event in collaboration with Qatar Foundation at Al Bidda Tower. The event, which is part of a series of community of practice meetings focused on behavioural economics, was attended by educators and policy makers who discussed the role of bureaucrats in designing happy user journeys.

The session featured keynote speaker Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler, Professor of Governance at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology; Honorary Professor, University College London’s Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose; and Associate Professor at Harvard University’s Davis Center.

Dr. Drechsler’s research focuses on organisation behaviour, public administration and governance. He spoke to attendees about the need for bureaucrats to step in and open a public discussion about what will make people happy in such environments and advocated for agility and stability in public administration, which can then bring public value to citizens.

“People like me are probably the only ones in the world who do not use the word ‘bureaucrat’ as an insult, but as a functional term for public servants. Without them, we know that a lack of innovative experience or knowledge-based society can lead to a lack of happiness,” said Dr. Drechsler. “Even if bureaucrats think like ordinary citizens, they still need to be able to look at the types of techno-economic development, and that is a huge challenge.”

B4D Legacy Majlis

Dr. Drechsler’s research offers valuable insight into how public administrations can better cater their services to the public they serve.

“We need to think how to include knowledge about human behaviour in the design of public service processes to create happy user journeys,” said B4D Director, Dr Fadi Makki.

Some of the key participants in the session included Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing Foundation; Dr. Logan Cochrane, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Public Policy; Dr. Nader Kabbani, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs; and Sumaya Baqavi, Deputy Chief of Mission & Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Singapore to Qatar.

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.