Cross-government and public administration

Auditing Behaviour Change

There is a growing belief that policy goals may be achieved more effectively if the design and use of interventions incorporate a better understanding of behaviour. This is therefore intrinsic to value for money. This guide provides the NAO’s emerging thinking on what a value for money assessment of a behaviour change programme may focus on.

Behaviour change is important for value for money because it can often contribute to, or be a prerequisite for achieving a policy outcome cost-effectively. As behaviour change is rapidly becoming more prevalent, reporting on value for money is a necessity. However, due partly to its complexity, doing so can be difficult. The NAO has developed this guide to represent our emerging thinking on what auditors might look for when doing a value for money assessment. We expect our thinking to develop over time; however in the meantime we would welcome feedback and discussion on the principles raised. Please email comments to

September 2011

Work In Progress