Colette Einfeld's picture

Colette Einfeld


Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Sydney

Contact details

Colette is a research and evaluation specialist with over ten years’ experience working with government, industry and not-for-profits. Her PhD is focussed on the use of Nudges and Behavioural Insights in public policy. She also works on research projects exploring the community/ government/industry interface. Colette completed her Phd in 2022.

PhD programme

Public Policy

Topic title

Nudging Policy: Understanding the public policy phenomenon

Topic description

This research explores how and why Nudges and Behavioural Insights are increasingly used in public policy, and seeks to contribute to both scholarship and practice. Government administrations around the world are increasingly adopting a new policy tool, known commonly as Nudging. Nudges are also an emerging tool in Australia, with units to test and develop these policies established at the state and federal level. Nudges involve the application of the principles of behavioural economics and psychology in understanding human behaviour to public policy. Advocates of Nudging argue that policy makers are choice architects, who should design policy to help citizens make the right choice. However, what exactly constitutes a Nudge is debated and there are implications on the use of Nudging on public policy and the relationship between citizens and the state. There is little evidence to understand why policy makers are choosing to Nudge, and the voices of those policy makers, the choice architects, are largely excluded from the literature. Interpretive policy approaches will be used to explore how policy makers understand and use Nudges, and uncover the reasons policy makers in Australia are Nudging.

Employment history

Colette has over ten years experience in research and evaluation. She has written and presented on research that has been used to inform policy and business projects. Her experience spans quantitative and qualitative research, writing journal articles and presenting at conferences and workshops. Colette works at the School of Government at The University of Melbourne on an ARC discovery grant and is a CI on another grant. She has previously worked as an Associate Director at Hall and Partners Open Mind (a social research consultancy), a Senior Research Consultant at ACCSR (a sustainability consultancy), at the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria and at the BBC.

Mailing address

Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building No. 132
Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

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