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Dr Manu Savani

Dr Manu Savani
Lecturer in Behavioural Public Policy

Marie Jahoda 203


I am Lecturer in Public Policy, with interests in behavioural public policy and 'nudges', health behaviour change, survey and field experiments, and welfare politics.

Prior to my PhD, I was an economist at the Department for International Development over 2003-2012. I held roles covering a range of countries (Afghanistan, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia) and policy issues (pro-poor growth, HIV and AIDS, conflict and development, and value for money in aid spending). More recently, I was a Global Impact Evaluation Adviser for Oxfam GB, managing evaluations for the Gendered Enterprise and Markets project in Zambia and Bangladesh using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in the field.

Read about my work on commitment devices, and why nudges might fail, at the Policy and Politics Journal Blog.

Read about my work on commitment devices and health behaviour change at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change Digi-Hub Blog

Read about my work on whether people prefer to be nudged or shoved in a pandemic at the LSE Public Policy blog.


I was awarded my PhD in 2017 from UCL’s Department of Political Science. I hold a First from the University of Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (St Anne’s College), and an MSc in Development Economics (Magdalen College). 


I am the Senior Tutor for Politics and History at Brunel.

I am an Associate Editor for Political Studies Review.

Newest selected publications

Banerjee, S., Savani, M. and Shreedhar, G. (2021) 'Public support for ‘soft’ versus ‘hard’ public policies: Review of the evidence'. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 4 (2). pp. 1 - 37. ISSN: 2576-6465 Open Access Link

Journal article

Savani, MM. (2021) 'Commitment Devices for Health: Theory and Evidence on Weight Loss', in Mihaila, V. (ed.) Behavioral-Based Interventions for Improving Public Policies. Hershey PA, USA : IGI Global. pp. 35 - 54. ISBN 10: 1799827313. ISBN 13: 9781799827313. Open Access Link

Book chapter

(2021) 'Behavioral-Based Interventions for Improving Public Policies', in IGI Global. ISBN 13: 9781799827313.

Book chapter

Savani, M. and Stewart, A. (2019) 'Making Market Systems Work for Women Dairy Farmers in Bangladesh: A final evaluation of Oxfam's Gendered Enterprise and Markets programme in Bangladesh'. Place of publication: Oxfam GB. Available at: Access Link


Savani, MM. (2019) 'Can commitment contracts boost participation in public health programmes?'. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 82 (October 2019). pp. 1 - 12. ISSN: 2214-8043 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(4)