Governance

Ethical Machine Learning

by ideas42

  Applied together, it is fair to say that machine learning and behavioral science have the potential to significantly magnify social impact. Yet, as machine learning algorithms become more prevalent in the systems people use to make important decisions, there is deep, and not unfounded, concern that algorithms – even those designed with social impact […]

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 […]

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 […]

Behavioral Design for Public Agencies’ COVID-19 Response

by Rachel Rosenberg

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. Across the country, tens of thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are reported every […]

Tackling the Great Smog in India

by Preeti Anand

  Every year, during the months of October and November, India’s National Capital Region (NCR) is engulfed in unusually thick layers of smog that disrupt day-to-day life. The area effectively slows to a crawl, with intermittent school closures, flight disruptions, construction bans, restricted driving rules and city-wide water sprinkling all commonplace. Outdoor activities are replaced […]

CityNudge Accelerator Update: What We’ve Learned, Where We’re Going

by Cecilia Shang

At a World Bank summit in 2015, in a room of mayors from cities across Latin America, we presented the results of a behavioral intervention run in partnership with the city of Belén, Costa Rica that reduced household water consumption by leveraging the power of social norms and plan-making tools. The mayor of Belén explained […]

Nepal’s Transition to Federalism: A Behavioral Approach

by Saugato Datta, Aditya Jagati, Susanti Vijaykumar, Carolyn O'Donnell, & Binayak Basnyat

This piece originally appeared on InAsia. On a rainy evening in Kathmandu not long ago, we fell into a conversation with Bahadur Sherpa, a 60-year-old laborer, who recalled the ecstatic mood of 2017’s historic local elections. He said he had reached his local polling place, a school, at 6:00 a.m. to find hundreds of expectant […]

13 Ways Behavioral Science Improved Lives in 2019

by ideas42

  Each year, the behavioral science community expands our knowledge about humans and decision-making and builds evidence for how to use behavioral science to improve lives. This rapidly growing community is made up of brilliant researchers, dedicated practitioners who apply behavioral science in their work solving problems, pioneering organizations that fund behavioral innovation around the […]

New Proposal to Change SNAP Eligibility Will Hurt Families

by Allison Yates-Berg

How many kids should go hungry to prevent someone from getting food stamps they don’t “deserve?”  This summer, while volunteering to help the elderly apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a retired Minnesota millionaire decided to apply for SNAP himself to see if he could “game” the system. He qualified for the program […]

Cash Plus Behavioral Science Makes an Effective Anti-Poverty Tool Even Better for Beneficiaries

by ideas42

While the widespread adoption of cash transfer programs is a significant step in reducing global poverty, innovative solutions are needed to improve their efficiency. Since 2015, ideas42 and the World Bank have worked together to bring behavioral innovations to cash transfer programs. Most recently, we’ve been working with the governments of Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar […]

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