Behavioral science and pandemic management

Behavioral science perspective on pandemic outbreak management.

This masterclass covers the management of the pandemic from a behavioral science perspective. It looks into the importance of continued adherence during a global pandemic and how to change behavior at short notice. 

Read more on this topic:

Pandemic outbreak management: a behavioral science perspective

Is nudging enough to change behavioral changes at short notice?

About Kevin Dolgin

Kevin Dolgin is the Co-Founder of Observia – an organisation that designs and manages patient adherence programs in France, as well as providing research and consulting about patient support throughout the world. 

Kevin is also a part-time professor at IAE in Paris (Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne), Via IAE he has also taught in business schools in Vietnam and China, as well as for the Global Partners MBA program in partnership with the University of Atlanta (USA). 

Kevin has been a speaker and chairperson in numerous pharmaceutical conferences, including Eye For Pharma’s events. He has also published numerous articles in trade magazines on salesforce effectiveness, patient adherence, and the role of services management in pharmaceuticals, change management, and the use of simulations in training. His articles have appeared throughout the world in over ten languages. He has also authored or co-authored two white papers about patient adherence and has been published in the European Journal of Person-Centered Healthcare.

Behavioral science and pandemic management


One of the main challenges in the management of a pandemic is to change our habits in order to adapt to the “new normal”. It is not up to ill people only to change their behavior, but to the entire population.

The Covid-19 pandemic is the most extraordinary wide-scale behavioral challenge perhaps since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Kevin Dolgin is explaining how some approaches inspired by behavioral economics could contribute to contain the disease.


The recent pandemic linked to coronavirus has led to a massive global public health campaign to slow the spread of the virus by increasing hand washing, reducing face touching, wearing masks in public and physical distancing.

In such times, limiting the virus requires a partnership of people and policy-makers – a social contract that extends beyond any government official’s or leader’s ability to control. Vigilance is an all of society responsibility.

As recently stated by the World Health Organization, as governments lift restrictions, the people become the main actors. It is an individual as well as a collective responsibility1. Ensuring that most people follow the recommendations of national authorities, limit social interactions, keep washing hands, maintain physical distancing and reduce risk to the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly and those with chronic underlying health conditions is a difficult challenge that requires change of behaviours.

During this session, Kevin Dolgin will present some methods inspired by behavioral economics, that could contribute to positively influence the behavior of large populations. He will address some of our cognitive biases and how to leverage them to facilitate the adoption of some gestures that ultimately would potentially save lives.

Further reading:

Bavel JJV, Baicker K, Boggio PS, et al. Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response. Nat Hum Behav. 2020;4(5):460-471. doi:10.1038/s41562-020-0884-z

About Kevin Dolgin

Kevin Dolgin has worked as a senior international consultant in marketing and strategy for the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. He is also an Associate Professor in management at Université de Paris I. Before Observia, he created the Areks, now part of IMS Health. He has an undergraduate degree from Fordham University, an MBA from INSEAD and a Master of Research from the Sorbonne. Observia is one of Europe’s foremost companies in the domain of adherence, focusing on digital health programs to improve patient outcomes. Observia’s mission is to help chronic patients adhere to the treatment given by their healthcare professional.

1 Statement – Behavioural insights are valuable to inform the planning of appropriate pandemic response measures, World Health Organization, Site last accessed 20/07/2020