behavior change http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/2159/all en Using behavioral sciences to teach fitness: A (sometimes unwilling) student’s perspective http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/using-behavioral-sciences-teach-fitness-sometimes-unwilling-student-s-perspective <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt=" U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nathan L. Maysonet" height="213" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/usairforce_spinning.jpg" style="float:left" title=" U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nathan L. Maysonet" width="320" />Every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, sometime between two and three, the email arrives. There’s no content, only a subject line inviting me to tomorrow morning’s cycling class.<br /><br /> I’m not one to enjoy spinning. But thanks to Arben Gjino, the originator of these emails, I participate in the cruel exercise approximately 150% more than I would have in an Arben-less world. So how did this Albanian-born, former volleyball Coach get me to ride time and time again alongside a dedicated group of early morning spinning enthusiasts?<br /><br /> Over time, I have pieced together his secret. What helps Arben – and his students – is the utilization of concepts from psychology. In particular, he uses concepts such as being non-discriminatory, salient nudges, making the classes fun and personal, and role-modeling. As a member of the World Bank’s <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/embed" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">behavioral sciences team</a>, which applies psychology to international development projects, I especially appreciate the use of these techniques being used on – and for - me.</div></div></div> Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:17:00 +0000 Julie Perng 7780 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #3 from 2016: Delhi’s odd-even plan as a public policy experiment http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/3-2016-delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><strong><em>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2016.<span> </span></em></strong><em>This post was <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">originally published </a>on February 2, 2016.  </em> <div> <em><a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="204" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi_0.jpg" style="float:right" title="by Lingaraj GJ via Flickr" width="272" /></a></em></div> <br /><span>Late last year, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced a measure to tackle the severe air pollution crisis in the city. The proposal was to implement an odd-even plan for private cars on Delhi roads: cars with odd numbered registration plates would be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbered registration plates allowed on the other days. There was an exemption list that included single women (or with children), public vehicles, medical emergencies, etc. This was to be piloted for a period of fifteen days, starting on 1</span><sup>st</sup><span> January 2016.</span><br /><br /><span>For a detailed account of how the city dealt with this rule, see </span><a href="http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/article8117873.ece" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a><span>.  An excerpt:</span> <blockquote> <em>During the odd-even period, the use of cars fells by 30 per cent while those car-pooling went up by a whopping 387.7 per cent, indicating the success of the government’s push towards that option. Delhiites using private auto-rickshaws went up by 156.3 per cent compared to the period before odd-even, while Metro use went up by 58.4 per cent.</em><br /><br /><em>On average, the respondents’ took 12 minutes less to commute from home to work during the odd-even period. Car and bus users reached their workplaces 13 and 14 minutes faster during the 15-day period</em><br />  </blockquote> </div></div></div> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:05:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7603 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #10 from 2016: Nudge for good: How insights from behavioral economics can improve the world— and manipulate people http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/10-2016-nudge-good-how-insights-behavioral-economics-can-improve-world-and-manipulate-people <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><strong><em>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2016. </em></strong>This post was <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/nudge-good-how-insights-behavioral-economics-can-improve-world-and-manipulate-people" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">originally posted </a>on August 16, 2016.<br />   <div> <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/19531134028_d646454088_z_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="254" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/19531134028_d646454088_z_0.jpg" style="float:left" title="Photo by Chatham House, some rights reserved" width="380" /></a></div> Richard H. Thaler is a world-renowned behavioral economist and professor of finance and psychology. Recently, he was <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/international/21702546-anne-mcelvoy-buttonwood-columnist-philip-coggan-quiz-renowned-behavioural-economist-richard?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/richard_thaler" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">interviewed by The Economist</a>. The discussion covers some of the fundamental studies in the field, like “<a href="https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/SMarTJPE.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">save more tomorrow</a>” which encourages people to save more by signing up to increase their savings rate every year and <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/Behavioral%20Economics%20and%20the%20Retirement%20Savings%20Crisis.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">auto-enrollment for pensions</a> that have drastically increased employee participation in pension funds.<br /><br /> Thaler also suggests, in the interview, that behavioral economics has the ability to influence human behavior for both good and bad. He argues that much of what behavioral economics does is remove barriers. The goal is <strong><em>not</em></strong><em> to change people</em> but to make life easier, but that idea can be skewed by organizations or individuals looking to capitalize on the biases of people. Whenever he is asked to sign a copy of his book <em>Nudge</em>, he writes “nudge for good” which is a plea, he says, to improve the lives of people and avoid insidious behavior.<br /><br /> The list of ways companies nudge behavior is endless, and I would love to hear more examples from you all in the comments section. In the meantime here are a few- I’ll let you judge which ones “nudge for good”:<br /></div></div></div> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 15:35:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7585 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Ebola: How a people’s science helped end an epidemic http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/ebola-how-people-s-science-helped-end-epidemic <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" height="140" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/anita-makri-150x150.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="140" />Guest book review from <a href="http://anitamakri.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Anita Makri</a>, an editor and writer going freelance after 5+ years with <a href="http://www.scidev.net/global/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">SciDev.Net</a>. (@anita_makri)</em></p> <p> I’m sure that to readers of this blog the Ebola epidemic that devastated West Africa a couple of years ago needs no introduction (just in case, here’s a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/-sp-ebola-crisis-briefing" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">nice summary</a> by the Guardian’s health editor). So I’ll cut to the chase, and to a narrative that at the time was bubbling underneath more familiar debates about responding to health crises – you know, things like imperfect governance, fragile health systems, drug shortages.</p> <p> All of them important, but this narrative was new. It was about fear, communication and cooperation – the human and social side of the crisis (explored in a <a href="http://www.scidev.net/global/ebola/spotlight/ebola-health-emergency-response.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">SciDev.Net collection</a> I commissioned at the time). There was also an unsettling undercurrent to it – one that conveyed ‘otherness’ and ignorance on the part of West Africans, fuelled by reports of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/18/ebola-health-workers-missing-guinea" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">violence against health workers</a> and of communities resisting expert advice against risky funeral rites.</p> <p> <a href="https://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/ebola/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="282" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/ebola-bookcover-654x1024.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="180" /></a>But if you listened closely, you could just about make out <a href="http://www.scidev.net/global/ebola/scidev-net-at-large/lessons-social-response-ebola.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the voices of anthropologists</a> trying to dispel notions that these reactions were about exotic or traditional cultures. Paul Richards was one of those voices, and luckily he’s put together a rare account of evidence, theory and experience in a book that should trigger real reflection on how we can do better in handling similar crises (hint: more listening).</p> <p> <a href="https://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/ebola/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic</a> tells the story of the epidemic through the eyes of someone with intimate knowledge of the region and the rules that influence human interactions – very much an anthropologist’s perspective, not an epidemiologist’s. The book turns the mainstream discourse on its head, putting what Richards calls “people’s science” on an equal footing with the more orthodox science behind the international response. It captures how people and experts adapted to each other, falling into a process of knowledge co-production.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:03:00 +0000 Duncan Green 7545 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Blog post of the month: Nudge for good: How insights from behavioral economics can improve the world— and manipulate people http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/blog-post-month-nudge-good-how-insights-behavioral-economics-can-improve-world-and-manipulate-people <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> Each month People, Spaces, Deliberation shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion. In August 2016, the featured blog post is "<a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/nudge-good-how-insights-behavioral-economics-can-improve-world-and-manipulate-people" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Nudge for good: How insights from behavioral economics can improve the world— and manipulate people</a>" by Roxanne Bauer.</h4> <p> <img alt="" height="214" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/19531134028_d646454088_z.jpg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:left" title="Photo by Chatham House, some rights reserved" width="320" /><span>Richard H. Thaler is a world-renowned behavioral economist and professor of finance and psychology. Recently, he was </span><a href="http://www.economist.com/news/international/21702546-anne-mcelvoy-buttonwood-columnist-philip-coggan-quiz-renowned-behavioural-economist-richard?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/richard_thaler" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">interviewed by The Economist</a><span>. The discussion covers some of the fundamental studies in the field, like “</span><a href="https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/SMarTJPE.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">save more tomorrow</a><span>” which encourages people to save more by signing up to increase their savings rate every year and </span><a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/Behavioral%20Economics%20and%20the%20Retirement%20Savings%20Crisis.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">auto-enrollment for pensions</a><span> that have drastically increased employee participation in pension funds.</span><br /><br /><span>Thaler also suggests, in the interview, that behavioral economics has the ability to influence human behavior for both good and bad. He argues that much of what behavioral economics does is remove barriers. The goal is </span><strong><em>not</em></strong><em> to change people</em><span> but to make life easier. However, that idea can be skewed by organizations or individuals looking to capitalize on the biases of people. Whenever he is asked to sign a copy of his book </span><em>Nudge</em><span>, he writes “nudge for good” which is a plea, he says, to improve the lives of people and avoid insidious behavior.</span><br /><br /><span>The list of ways companies nudge behavior is endless, and I would love to hear more examples from you all in the comments section. In the meantime here are a few- I’ll let you judge which ones “nudge for good”:</span></p> </div></div></div> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 18:47:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7503 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Nudge for good: How insights from behavioral economics can improve the world— and manipulate people http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/nudge-good-how-insights-behavioral-economics-can-improve-world-and-manipulate-people <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="" height="214" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/19531134028_d646454088_z.jpg" style="float:left" title="Photo by Chatham House, some rights reserved" width="320" />Richard H. Thaler is a world-renowned behavioral economist and professor of finance and psychology. Recently, he was <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/international/21702546-anne-mcelvoy-buttonwood-columnist-philip-coggan-quiz-renowned-behavioural-economist-richard?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/richard_thaler" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">interviewed by The Economist</a>. The discussion covers some of the fundamental studies in the field, like “<a href="https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/SMarTJPE.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">save more tomorrow</a>” which encourages people to save more by signing up to increase their savings rate every year and <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/Richard.Thaler/research/pdf/Behavioral%20Economics%20and%20the%20Retirement%20Savings%20Crisis.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">auto-enrollment for pensions</a> that have drastically increased employee participation in pension funds.<br /><br /> Thaler also suggests, in the interview, that behavioral economics has the ability to influence human behavior for both good and bad. He argues that much of what behavioral economics does is remove barriers. The goal is <strong><em>not</em></strong><em> to change people</em> but to make life easier, but that idea can be skewed by organizations or individuals looking to capitalize on the biases of people. Whenever he is asked to sign a copy of his book <em>Nudge</em>, he writes “nudge for good” which is a plea, he says, to improve the lives of people and avoid insidious behavior.<br /><br /> The list of ways companies nudge behavior is endless, and I would love to hear more examples from you all in the comments section. In the meantime here are a few- I’ll let you judge which ones “nudge for good”:<br /></div></div></div> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:43:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7489 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere How Virgin Atlantic used behavior change communication to nudge pilots to use less fuel, reduce emissions http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/how-virgin-atlantic-used-behavior-change-communication-nudge-pilots-use-less-fuel-reduce-emissions <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="180" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/8601762270_b969f79bd8_z.jpg" style="float:left" title=" Aero Pixels" width="320" />The idea that there are untapped opportunities for improving the energy efficiency of individuals and homes is common.  Energy efficient windows, lightbulbs, and appliances are sold worldwide.  <a href="https://www.ase.org/resources/top-10-home-energy-efficiency-tips" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">People are advised</a> to “turn off the lights when you leave a room,” <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-how-our-competitive-natures-may-help-reduce-our-carbon-footprints" rel="nofollow">and schemes have been introduced</a> to reduce energy consumption by tapping into social psychology. But what about large firms? Or entire industries? Companies, after all, want to minimize costs to save money, don’t they?  How about airlines, whose bottom lines are subject to the international price of fuel?<br />  <br /> It seems rational, but the International Energy Agency does not mention the aviation sector in its <a href="https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/MediumTermEnergyefficiencyMarketReport2015.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Energy Efficiency Market Report</a>, nor does Kinsey in their comprehensive <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/pathways-to-a-low-carbon-economy" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">catalog of potential energy efficiency measures</a>. Most reports (that I could find) focus on <a href="http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/regulatory/energy-regulatory-outlook.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">regulation</a> of commercial enterprises.  This is a shame. The environmental impact of aviation is clear: aircraft engines emit heat, noise, particulates, CO2, and other harmful gases that contribute to climate change. Despite more fuel-efficient and less polluting turbofan and turboprop engines for airplanes as well as innovations in air frames, engines, aerodynamics, and flight operations, the rapid growth of air travel in recent years has contributed to an increase in total aviation pollution. In part, this is because aviation emissions are not subject international regulation thus far and because the lack of global taxes on aviation fuel results in lower fares than one would see otherwise.<br />  <br /> Interestingly, although perhaps not surprisingly, the National Bureau of Economic Research just released <a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w22316" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a working paper</a> that suggests airlines’ fuel consumption can be reduced if they “nudge” the pilots to use less fuel, using behavioral interventions.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 16:04:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7462 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Reading ICAI’s review of DFID WASH results http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/reading-icai-s-review-dfid-wash-results <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="187" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/20038826741_058cc496f2_z.jpg" style="float:right" title="Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank" width="280" />The <a href="http://icai.independent.gov.uk/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)</a>, UK’s aid watch dog, today, released its <a href="http://icai.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/ICAI-Impact-Review-Assessing-DFIDs-Results-in-Water-Sanitation-and-Hygiene.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">review of DFID’s programming and results in water sanitation and hygiene (WASH)</a>. In this impact review, they take a close look at the results DFID reported in its 2015 Annual Report; results that cost £ 713 million between 2010 – 2014. <br /><br /> Do read the full report <a href="http://icai.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/ICAI-Impact-Review-Assessing-DFIDs-Results-in-Water-Sanitation-and-Hygiene.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p> <p> Some thoughts on the areas of concern in the report:</p> <ul><li> The focus on ‘leaving no one behind’ is spot on. It is easy to stack up impressive WASH numbers if one ignores the poorest and the most vulnerable in communities. Safe sanitation and hygiene need to be universal for health benefits to accrue to communities. Within WASH, sanitation is specifically complex, sometimes also called a ‘wicked problem’ – a challenge foremost, of inducing lasting behaviour change. The very nature of careful social engineering required to bring about this behaviour change seems to run contrary to some of the factors that make an intervention scalable – an ability to standardise inputs and break programme components down to easily replicable bits.</li> <li> Within the broad basket of ‘service delivery’ interventions, WASH is one of the trickier sectors when it comes to measuring sustained impact, especially at scale. Naturally then, ICAI find that while DFID’s claims of having reached 62.9 million people are broadly correct, it is very hard to establish if the benefits are sustained. Therefore, the results reported remain at the ‘output’ level and that is what ICAI ends up assessing, even though what they set out to do is an ‘impact’ review. While the report speculates on sustaining benefits beyond the 2011-15 period, I wonder whether those that accessed the programme in 2011-12 continued to experience any benefits in 2015.</li> <li> The link with government systems, in terms of implementation, monitoring and sustenance remains unclear: another typical WASH issue. Barring say, India, (and this is true especially in sub-Saharan countries, government WASH budgets are highly inadequate. A lot of the work that happens is funded by donors and this implies that monitoring and maintenance happens outside the official system. Achieving local ownership in such a context is a challenge.</li> <li> ICAI finds it difficult to assess value for money (VfM) in DFID’s WASH programmes. On one hand, it finds that there isn’t enough competitive procurement, but also there is a lack of established metrics and benchmarks to analyse VfM. Following DFID’s own 3Es framework, an Economy and Efficiency analysis should be possile across the portfolio, and as far as I can tell, is rapidly being developed in the sector, and within DFID. However, partly as a consequence of the lack of ‘outcome/impact’ data, cost-effectiveness studies are likely to remain a challenge. This <a href="http://vfm-wash.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">work by an OPM-led consortium</a> should be particularly relevant in improving VfM analysis across the sector.</li> </ul></div></div></div> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 18:55:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7443 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Delhi’s odd-even plan as a public policy experiment http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="Traffic in Delhi" height="210" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />Late last year, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced a measure to tackle the severe air pollution crisis in the city. The proposal was to implement an odd-even plan for private cars on Delhi roads: cars with odd numbered registration plates would be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbered registration plates allowed on the other days. There was an exemption list that included single women (or with children), public vehicles, medical emergencies, etc. This was to be piloted for a period of fifteen days, starting on 1<sup>st</sup> January 2016.<br /><br /> For a detailed account of how the city dealt with this rule, see <a href="http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/article8117873.ece" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>.  An excerpt: <blockquote> <em>During the odd-even period, the use of cars fells by 30 per cent while those car-pooling went up by a whopping 387.7 per cent, indicating the success of the government’s push towards that option. Delhiites using private auto-rickshaws went up by 156.3 per cent compared to the period before odd-even, while Metro use went up by 58.4 per cent.</em><br /><br /><em>On average, the respondents’ took 12 minutes less to commute from home to work during the odd-even period. Car and bus users reached their workplaces 13 and 14 minutes faster during the 15-day period</em></blockquote> <p> <br /> I will come to the outcomes of this pilot in just a moment. Outcomes aside, the Delhi government’s Odd-Even plan has yielded a rich bounty. It sets the template for citizen engagement with a public policy reform experiment: heightened awareness regarding the core issue, mass participation, intense public scrutiny, and a data-driven discourse. Let’s take these one-by-one.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:39:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7293 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The things we do: The economic, social, and personal costs of optimism http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-economic-social-and-personal-costs-optimism <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="Construction worker for the Panama Canal expansion project" height="187" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/8261679399_a45781a030_z.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />It is now the second week of 2016 and many people are working (or struggling) to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. Whether they have decided to run a marathon, travel more, or save money, many people endeavor to create positive, new habits while shedding existing habits they think are less positive.  These resolutions, though, tend to last one or two months, fading into the backgrounds of their consciousness as spring arrives. <br />  <br /> It’s a typical combination of the planning fallacy, unrealistic optimism, and a bit of self-regulatory failure.<br />  <br /> And this sort of challenge is not specific to New Year’s resolutions or even to issues pertaining to individuals.  City councils frequently draw up budgets that are too lean, road construction frequently lasts much longer than expected, and advances in technology often require much more investment than planners expect. So what’s at work here?  Why is it that people have a hard time judging the amount of time, energy, and resources that a project will take?</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:40:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7274 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #5 from 2015: The things we do: How a simple text message is the difference between success and failure http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/5-2015-things-we-do-how-simple-text-message-difference-between-success-and-failure <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><em><strong>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2015.<span> </span></strong>This post was<span> <span> </span></span><a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-how-simple-text-message-difference-between-success-and-failure" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">originally posted</a><span> </span>on April 21, 2015.</em><br />   <h4> <img alt="A woman and her child get the anti-malaria drugs distributed in Freetown." height="193" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/15812476888_ae7a54ce9f_o.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />Mobile phones are increasingly prevalent throughout the world, and researchers have found that sending text message reminders can help people follow-through with their intentions, significantly increasing the success of development interventions.</h4> <p> <em>“People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”</em><br /><br /> These are the wise words of Samuel Johnson, an English author, critic, and lexicographer. Even though he lived more than 200 years ago, international development interventions are proving him correct today. <br />  <br /><strong>Reminders for Malaria</strong><br />  <br /> It’s widely known that failure to adhere to a full course of antibiotic treatment leads to treatment failure and encourages bacterial resistance to antibiotics, threatening the sustainability of current medications. This is extremely important for malaria, which, <a href="http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world_malaria_report_2014/wmr-2014-no-profiles.pdf?ua=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">according to the World Health Organization</a>, results in 198 million cases each year and around 584,000 deaths.  The burden is particularly heavy in Africa, where around 90% of malaria deaths occur, and in children under 5 years of age, who account for 78% of all deaths. Moreover, low rates of adherence to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatments has led to a prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Malaria in many parts of the world, particularly Africa. One of the biggest <span>– </span>and simplest <span>–</span> reasons why people fail to complete the full treatment for Malaria is that they forget.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 30 Dec 2015 20:08:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7261 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The things we do: Self-command takes practice http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-self-command-takes-practice <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <span style="font:11px Arial;color:#111;">Also available in: <!--<a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/es/el-empleo-como-una-solucion-para-la-crisis-de-la-migracion" rel="nofollow" style="font:bold 10px Arial;color:#111;">Español</a> | <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/fr/r-soudre-la-crise-des-migrants-par-l-emploi" rel="nofollow" style="font:bold 10px Arial;color:#111;">Français</a> | --><a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/ar/publicsphere/things-we-do-self-command-takes-practice" style="font:bold 10px Arial;color:#111;">العربية</a></span></p> <h4> Following prolonged conflict, it is often difficult to reestablish security and reduce crime and violence, especially among poor young men. In Liberia, development experts have been researching the most effective ways to support high-risk individuals, and they may have found an effective approach combining therapy with cash.</h4> <p> <img alt="Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Cash Transfers on High-Risk Young Men in Liberia" height="177" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/15912429516_f6aa77c522_z.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />One of the most pressing concerns in post-conflict settings is how to help individuals transition back into a peaceful life. After a conflict has subsided, small arms are usually very common, local and national economies have been destroyed, and the emotional stress of the violence begins to take on new forms. Former soldiers, in particular, have trouble with the transition as they struggle with the pain and horror of what they experienced, and many do not remember how to participate in community life anymore.&nbsp; In response, the international development community often tries to “enable” these men by creating jobs for them. The theory is that if people are busy working they will not have the time or the inclination to commit crime.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> However, simply providing jobs is rarely enough. The <a href="http://www.nepiliberia.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Network for Empowerment &amp; Progressive Initiative</a> (NEPI), an organization operating in Monrovia, Liberia, challenges this paradigm and seeks to support men formerly engaged in the country’s two civil wars by rehabilitating them through therapy. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pub/klubosumo-johnson-borh/2b/a74/870" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Klubosumo Johnson Borh</a>, the founder of NEPI, was as a Liberian teenager when he was recruited for&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Taylor_(Liberian_politician)" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Charles Taylor</a>‘s infamously brutal rebel army. Borh was made a commander and oversaw soldiers who were even younger than he was.&nbsp;By the end of&nbsp;the conflict, which lasted from 1989 through 2003, nearly 10% of the population had been killed, and thousands of child soldiers were now grown men. &nbsp;Many of these men had trouble shaking the violent behaviors they had learned in war so Borh helped start NEPI in an effort to reform these and other troubled men.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:39:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7191 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The things we do: How a simple text message is the difference between success and failure http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-how-simple-text-message-difference-between-success-and-failure <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <em><img alt="A woman and her child get the anti-malaria drugs distributed in Freetown." height="193" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/15812476888_ae7a54ce9f_o.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" /></em>Mobile phones are increasingly prevalent throughout the world, and researchers have found that sending text message reminders can help people follow-through with their intentions, significantly increasing the success of development interventions.</h4> <p> <em>“People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”</em><br /><br /> These are the wise words of Samuel Johnson, an English author, critic, and lexicographer.  Even though he lived more than 200 years ago, international development interventions are proving him correct today. <br />  <br /><strong>Reminders for Malaria</strong><br />  <br /> It’s widely known that failure to adhere to a full course of antibiotic treatment leads to treatment failure and encourages bacterial resistance to antibiotics, threatening the sustainability of current medications. This is extremely important for malaria, which, <a href="http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world_malaria_report_2014/wmr-2014-no-profiles.pdf?ua=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">according to the World Health Organization</a>, results in 198 million cases each year and around 584,000 deaths.  The burden is particularly heavy in Africa, where around 90% of malaria deaths occur, and in children under 5 years of age, who account for 78% of all deaths. Moreover, low rates of adherence to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatments has led to a prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Malaria in many parts of the world, particularly Africa. One of the biggest <span>– </span>and simplest <span>–</span> reasons why people fail to complete the full treatment for Malaria is that they forget.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:57:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7027 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #2 from 2014: Entertainment Media Can Help Change Behaviors and Stop the Ebola Outbreak http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/2-2014-entertainment-media-can-help-change-behaviors-and-stop-ebola-outbreak-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><strong>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2014. </strong><br /> This post was originally posted on August 06, 2014</em><br /><br /><img alt="" height="186" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/14835527814_b34bc60650.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />In the wake of the current Ebola crisis, the 2011 movie <em>Contagion</em> (<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeLrWx6AQec" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">See the trailer here</a>) directed by Steven Soderbergh has repeatedly been cited as one of the best examples of a movie taking on the subject of pandemic disease and managing to educate while providing gripping entertainment. This is no coincidence.<em>Contagion</em> was produced with both A-list stars (Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and others) and support from leading public health experts such as Dr. Ian Lipkin who is the inspiration for one of the scientists portrayed in the film, and award-winning writer Laurie Garrett, author of several books including <em>The Coming Plague</em>. <a href="http://www.participantmedia.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Participant Media</a>, founded by Jeff Skoll to inspire social change through entertainment, was a producer, with the <a href="http://www.skollglobalthreats.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Skoll Global Threats Fund</a>, <a href="http://www.who.int/en/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Health Organization</a> (WHO), and <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention </a>(CDC) providing input as well.<br /><br /> The tagline from the film is “No One is Immune…to Fear.” While one of the early scenes is of a woman dying of a flu-like illness (played by Paltrow) the movie elicits fear not from gruesome symptoms but instead from plot lines and messages that focus on how human responses to these types of public health crises make matters worse. It also showcases the valuable work done by epidemiologists and other public health workers who are the heroes of this film. <em>Contagion</em> communicates these and other lessons effectively using the power of story, a subject recently discussed on <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-how-not-what-movies-inspire-us" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">this blog</a>.<br /></div></div></div> Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:59:00 +0000 Margaret Miller 6925 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Blog Post of the Month: Entertainment Media Can Help Change Behaviors and Stop the Ebola Outbreak http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/blog-post-month-entertainment-media-can-help-change-behaviors-and-stop-ebola-outbreak <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> Each month, <em>People, Spaces, Deliberation </em>shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion.<br /><br /><img alt="" height="186" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/14835527814_b34bc60650.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />In August 2014, the most popular blog post was "<a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/entertainment-media-can-help-change-behaviors-and-stop-ebola-outbreak" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Entertainment Media Can Help Change Behaviors and Stop the Ebola Outbreak</a>"<br /><br /> In this post, Senior Economist Margaret Miller and Economic Adviser Olga Jonas, in collaobration with the <a href="http://www.unicef.org/cbsc/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">UNICEF Communication for Development Team (C4D)</a>, discuss the ways in which entertainment media can be used to raise awareness among publics facing a crisis and to support interventions by encouraging the adoption of safe behaviors. <br /><br /> Using entertainment media in this way to inform, educate and support behavior change is also known as <em>entertainment education</em> (<em>EE</em>). "Entertainment education is effective," states Miller and Jonas "because narratives or stories are emotionally powerful – they help us to organize information and to create the “mental models” that we use to make sense of the world and can help to explain why we behave in particular ways."<br /><br /> Read the blog post to learn more!<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:01:00 +0000 Margaret Miller 6806 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere