ideas42 Welcomes Launch of World Bank’s Global Insights Initiative

Landmark Behavioral Science Unit Formed

New York, October 22, 2015 – ideas42, the nonprofit behavioral design lab, today welcomed the launch of the World Bank’s new behavioral science unit, the Global Insights Initiative (GINI).

“We look forward to collaborating with the World Bank as it sets up GINI and continues to incorporate behavioral insights into real world development policy,” said Saugato Datta, ideas42 Managing Director. “We believe GINI will have major impact as the work moves forward.”

The unit was formally launched today and will be led by Varun Gauri, Senior Economist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group.

The launch of GINI follows the successful 2015 World Development Report (WDR) on Mind, Society and Behavior. GINI will carry forward the report’s key ideas about designing programs and policies that are informed by behavioral science.

ideas42 played a role in the development of the 2015 WDR. ideas42 co-founder Sendhil Mullainathan provided conceptual guidance in the early stages of the report and Datta worked with the WDR 2015 team to design and implement a set of surveys of decision-making and behavior whose findings about the transferability of key behavioral concepts and findings across countries informed the report.

Datta noted that ideas42 will play an advisory role as the team at GINI identifies projects and moves behaviorally informed solutions through testing and implementation in countries across the developing world.

ideas42 is currently working on a set of behavioral interventions being rolled out as part of World Bank-supported cash transfer programs in rural Madagascar and Sudan, as well as the design of behaviorally informed tax notices in Barbados. It has also worked with the World Bank on testing low-cost behavioral interventions that reduced household water use in Costa Rica.

ideas42 has deep experience advising and supporting behavioral science units. It works with government in a number of local jurisdictions and also supports and advises the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.

Datta joined other behavioral experts and senior officials including Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank Group and Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President (Development Economics) and Chief Economist at the World Bank for a panel discussion today to mark the launch alongside Varun Gauri, leader of the newly formed GINI team.

About ideas42

ideas42 has a clear mission: to use our unique experience as a nonprofit at the forefront of behavioral science to change millions of lives. We create innovative solutions to tough problems in economic mobility, health, education, consumer finance, energy efficiency and international development. Our approach is based on a deep understanding of human behavior and why people make the decisions they do. Working closely with our partners from government, foundations, NGOs and companies, we have more than 50 active projects in the United States and around the world.


For further Press Information or for media availability/interviews with Saugato Datta, contact:

Andy Plews

Mitra Salasel