Global Livelihoods

Honoring Black Behavioral Scientists and Examining the Psychology of Race in History

by ideas42

People often (erroneously) believe that a few leaders are responsible for the development of an emerging field, an idea, or event in history because of perceived “natural attributes” such as superior intelligence. This is known as “great man” theory–a flawed theory, of course, because in reality it is the tireless work of countless people that […]

How Can Behavioral Science Help Improve Economic Outcomes for Women?

by Catherine MacLeod, ideas42, and Sarika Gupta, the World Bank

Eleanor, a young woman living in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, wants to start a business to improve her family’s life. As a young girl, she saw the women in her life braiding hair – her aunt worked at a hair salon, and her mother taught her how to braid. When deciding what kind of […]

Our Top Behavioral Science Highlights of the Year (Goodbye, 2020)

by ideas42

It’s become tradition of sorts that each December, we reflect on the year behind us and celebrate the newest evidence and social impact generated by behavioral science. Of course, 2020 is a difficult year to look back on with much fondness. And yet, even in one of the more challenging years in living memory, we […]

Utilizing Pre-COVID Behavioral Designs During a Pandemic: Experiences of Kenya’s National Cash Transfer Beneficiaries

by Sylvia Kezengwa and Kate MacLeod

Beyond the grim realities of a growing death toll, the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on multiple dimensions of life for many people across the globe for much of 2020. Sadly, those already facing instability are disproportionately affected. Social protection programs, including cash transfers, are crucial to safeguarding those living with extreme poverty, and […]

Using Behavioral Insights to Make the Most of Emergency Social Protection Cash Transfers

by Laura Rawlings, World Bank, and Jessica Jean-Francois and Catherine MacLeod, ideas42

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across the globe have been adapting social assistance policies to support their populations. In fact, since March 2020, 139 countries and territories have planned, implemented, or adapted cash transfers to support their citizens. Cash transfers specifically make up about half of the social protection programs implemented to address […]

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 […]

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 […]

When Social Distancing Is Impossible: Humanitarian Crises and Human Behavior

by Meghann Perez

This is part of a series of posts on behavioral science and COVID-19. Recent news has focused strongly on how the U.S. and many European countries will cope with the newfound “way of life” in adhering to public health guidelines for COVID-19. Largely missing in this narrative are the significant global challenges yet to come—such […]

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 […]