Kathleen is our Research and Evaluation Director. She works with Shift’s internal research team, freelancers, and external research partners to ensure Shift’s projects are based on a sound theory of change and capable of delivering social value. She also leads Shift’s evaluation activities, which measure the social impact our projects are delivering.

Kathleen holds an MPhil in Political Theory from the University of Oxford and BA Hons in Economics from Stellenbosch University. Before joining us in 2013, Kathleen worked at the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development, where she led research projects on topics from rural development to vocational pedagogy, working with a wide range of stakeholders, from local community groups to UNESCO policy working groups. This diversity has prepared her to manage research across Shift’s portfolio of social issues.

Kathleen is currently expanding her horizons by learning to code, and is a regular volunteer at a debt advice centre.

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Technology and Behaviour Change

How do these products and services work? Can they really encourage people to ‘be better’ long-term or do you need to change the system and society in other ways? ‘Who’ decides what’s better anyway? And when does behaviour change become coercion or something more controlling?

Tech for Good TV explore this in their latest podcast, featuring our Research and Evaluation Director Kathleen Collett, supported by Bethnal Green Ventures and Nominet Trust.

View here

Refining our social innovation model

In April, when we set out on our first year of our research and development partnership with the Nominet Trust, we had in place a pretty robust six stage social innovation model, which we had been evolving and refining over several years of work in behaviour change and product design…



Hot, prepared revolution: A summary of two years work looking at takeaways

December 17, 2018

Shift has developed the UK’s most detailed understanding of takeaway food, families’ relationship with it, the role hot, prepared food plays in their food behaviours, the economics of outlets and the motivations of their owners. Possible avenues for positive change have been tested and the way forward is clear.

Designing products that empower parents

February 20, 2018

Insight report exploring the parenting journey, the associated feelings, thoughts, desires and behaviours, a review of the sources of support throughout. Plus 5 design opportunities and the principles of design to build parents’ self-efficacy.

0–2s: improving infant emotional development

July 6, 2017

A review of the factors that contribute to the healthy emotional development of infants in their first thousand days of life. 

Healthier Fast Food: Mapping the Fast Food Environment in Hackney

May 10, 2017

Evaluation report of a pilot research project undertaken from June 2016 to April 2017 mapping the changing fast food environment of two streets in Hackney, London: Morning Lane and Well Street.

Chloe Cook, Chris Holmes and Kathleen Collett

Summary report: 0–2s, Improving infant emotional development

March 30, 2017

A summary of the factors that contribute to the healthy emotional development of children in their first thousand days of life. 

BfB Labs Trial Summary

September 26, 2016

An evaluation report describing the results of the five trials of Shift’s emotionally responsive biofeedback video game, conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the game in training emotional regulation skills through regulated diaphragmatic breathing, as well as measure levels of enjoyment and stickiness.

Building Resilience through Emotionally Responsive Gaming: Findings from a biofeedback video game RCT

September 21, 2016

An evaluation report describing the results of a randomised control trial run with 290 young people in The Billericay School, Essex.

Building Resilience through Emotionally Responsive Gaming: Findings from a biofeedback video game trial at St Angela’s Ursuline School

September 20, 2016

An evaluation report describing a trial with 30 girls at St Angela’s Ursuline secondary School, Newham, East London.

Naomi Stoll and Kathleen Collett

Playing with emotions

December 1, 2015

An evaluation report describing the results of a test of BfB’s biofeedback video game with two primary schools in Hackney, London.

Harnessing the power of games to improve wellbeing

March 18, 2015

An evaluation report describing the results of the first test of Shift’s biofeedback video game, which uses the player’s heart rate to reward players for staying calm under pressure.
Kathleen Collett and Naomi Stoll



Video games and wellbeing

March 1, 2014

Exploring the role and impact of video games in young people’s lives, and how video games and biofeedback can be combined in wellbeing interventions.
Kathleen Collett and Naomi Stoll

Promoting wellbeing: A practical way to improve public mental health

February 2, 2014

Outlining the scale and impact of mental health, who is most at risk, and the argument for focusing on wellbeing
Kathleen Collett


Survey of products and services which promote wellbeing

February 1, 2014

Evidence for interventions to improve wellbeing (mindfulness, gratitudes, awe and optimism) and examples of products and services which facilitate these.
Kathleen Collett and Tayo Medupin

Insights Report: Domestic Food Waste

January 2, 2014

The scale of the issue, the main types of food wasted, key audiences, key food-wasting behaviours and the cultural context of daily decisions that cause these.

Tori Flower and Kathleen Collett

Survey of Existing Consumer Products and Services which Reduce Food Waste

January 1, 2014

Report broken down by the six stages in the domestic food cycle including summary highlighting common themes and relative effectiveness, with recommendations.

Tori Flower and Kathleen Collett