Why we created Indlela:

Human behaviour poses a “last mile” challenge to ensuring the effectiveness of existing health services and maximizing the impact of available resources. Behavioural economics offers insights on human behaviour and decision-making that can be useful for identifying low-cost behavioural solutions (“nudges”) that increase uptake of health services and promote behaviour change more generally. In the past decade a number of governments and health systems globally have used behavioural science and rapid-testing of interventions to improve the efficiency of programs by forming “nudge units” to help develop low-cost interventions that have successfully resulted in behaviour change and improved health care delivery.


With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Witwatersrand’s Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) launched Indlela: Behavioural Insights for Better Health (Indlela means “the way” or “the path” in isiZulu) in 2020.

Indlela’s objectives are to:


  • Build capacity in the application of behavioural economics to health
  • Rapidly and effectively share knowledge and evidence through multiple channels
  • Evaluate behaviourally informed interventions and generate evidence to shape policy
  • Expand regionally to leverage South-toSouth learning and collaboration