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Thoughts and insights from our work applying behavioral science to social problems

What’s it Like Applying Behavioral Insights to a Government Program?

by ideas42

A conversation with John Gachigi, Head of the Social Assistance Unit in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Government of Kenya. Governments around the world have invested in behavioral science innovations to strengthen programs and services for their citizens, and this has proven to be an impactful investment. However, as more government agencies and […]

What Behavioral Science Can Teach us 4+ Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Lois Aryee & Mukta Joshi

As economies enter various phases of ‘opening back up’ and countries gradually ease COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions, many people find themselves constantly navigating ambiguity and uncertainty around how this should affect their everyday decisions and actions.  Two ideas42 team members, based in different parts of the world, share their experiences and offer helpful insights based […]

With 30+ Million People out of Work, it’s Time to Invest in College Completion

by Katherine Flaschen and Ben Castleman

Less than half of adults in the United States have a postsecondary degree (an associate degree or higher). This trend creates significant consequences for people’s long-term economic security and well-being; college graduates are less likely to be underemployed and are more likely to have higher earnings than people without degrees. And as the unemployment rate […]

Could Temporary, Behaviorally Informed Changes to WIC Be Program Fixtures?

by Antonia Violante & Allison Yates-Berg

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have lost their jobs or are finding it even harder to stretch their paycheck to meet their needs. Many are finding that they need social safety net programs to ensure the health and well-being of their families, often for the first time. One of these […]

ideas42 Stands for Racial Justice

by ideas42

We are disgusted by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We are angry about the ongoing racism faced by Black people. This anger is not new in the US, as Black Americans have faced a long history of racist violence driven not by a few bad actors, but by systemic racism […]

ideas42 Seminar Series: A Talk with Stefano DellaVigna

by ideas42

With the ideas42 Seminar Series, we invite leading scholars to share their insights and what inspires their exploration into human behavior. We were pleased to welcome Stefano DellaVigna, the Daniel Koshland, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Economics and Professor of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent paper, RCTs to Scale: Comprehensive Evidence from […]

COVID-19 Is Different—Charitable Giving Should Be Too

by Sarah Welch, Cecilia Shang, Katy Davis, & Piyush Tantia

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen, but our urge to help others in crisis is familiar. When disaster strikes, a common arc unfolds: Media coverage and stories abound, non-profit organizations spearhead relief efforts, solicitations to donate are shared, and dollars come pouring in. These one-time, urgent campaigns are important and play a critical […]

Doing More with Less: Behavioral Insights for Humanitarian Cash and Vouchers

by Meghann Perez, Senior Associate, ideas42 & Holly Welcome Radice, Cash and Markets Technical Advisor, CARE

Cash and voucher assistance changed humanitarian response forever. In 2015, the High Level Panel on Cash Transfers directed humanitarian agencies  to implement unconditional cash transfers at scale whenever possible, and the advice was heeded. Preliminary findings suggest an estimated 60 percent scale-up of total cash and voucher delivery from 2016 to 2018—from US$2 billion in […]

Making Government COVID-19 Communications More Effective

by Rebecca Oran & Octavio Medina

This is part of a series of posts about behavioral science and COVID-19. Click here to read about some of the most important behaviors during this pandemic—like seeking medical help, responding to humanitarian crises, and adapting to remote work in a global outbreak. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public benefits programs in the United […]

Using Behavioral Science to Change Malaria Testing Practices in Nigeria

by Sriram Sridharan, Faraz Haqqi & Emily Zimmerman

“We don’t gamble with human life up here […] You know the main killer in Africa is this malaria.” – Doctor, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria Most health care providers in Nigeria know the protocols for testing and treating patients for malaria. When asked, providers correctly explain that every case of fever should be tested, and […]

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