Government social researchers provide fit-for-purpose, timely evidence and technical expertise on social and behavioural aspects of transport to inform policy and operational delivery across the Department for Transport (DfT) and its agencies.
Social research generates data and analysis using the methods of social science such as:
- social surveys
- focus groups
- in-depth interviews
- case studies
- deliberative research
All the social research we do follows the government social research (GSR) code set out in the Government social research: profession strategy 2015 to 2020.
The DfT social and behavioural research team also provides advice and expertise in the application of behavioural insights to policy and operations. Behavioural insights is a branch of social science that explains how people make decisions and how this influences their behaviour. This can help policy makers and internal teams design effective solutions to behavioural challenges. Newer areas of behavioural insights include their application to the behaviour of organisations.
Monitoring and evaluation are important activities for any learning organisation which aims progressively to improve its performance. They allow for systematic learning from past and current activities – ‘what works, what doesn’t work’ and ‘why’. This provides the department with greater accountability and a strong evidence base for future decision making.