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Dr Manu Savani

Dr Manu Savani
Lecturer in Behavioural Public Policy

Marie Jahoda 234


I am Lecturer in Public Policy, with interests in behavioural public policy and 'nudges', health behaviour change, 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 health behaviour change at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change Digi-Hub 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 coordinate the Politics and History Departmental Research Seminars.

I am the Placements Tutor for Politics and History sandwich year students. 

Newest selected publications

Savani, M. (2021) 'Commitment Devices for Health: Theory and Evidence on Weight Loss', in Mihaila, V. (ed.) Behavioral-Based Interventions for Improving Public Policies. IGI Global. pp. 35 - 54. ISBN 10: 1799827313. 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, M. (2019) 'Can commitment contracts boost participation in public health programmes?'. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 82 (October 2019). pp. 101457 - 101457. ISSN: 2214-8043 Open Access Link

Journal article

Savani, MM. (2018) 'The Effects of a Commitment Device on Health Outcomes'. International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics, 7 (4). pp. 1 - 20. ISSN: 2160-9802 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(3)