WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2015- Need for behavior linked policies


The World development report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior, highlights making policy drafting more interactive and human behavior oriented. The report highlights that multiple social and behavioral factors can cause a developmental policy to succeed or turn turtle. The report shows that insights into how people make decisions can lead to new interventions that help household to save more, firms to increase productivity, communities to reduce the prevalence of diseases, parents to improve cognitive development in children, and consumers to save energy.

The report gives an elaborate view of how human decision making powers determine social thinking and have profound impact on the economics of a nations, worldwide.

The observations made by the report about the Indian story talks admiringly of the improvements made in the sectors of health and education , due to policy decisions backed with behavioral economics information.


One doesn’t need to apply rocket science to make a policy successful. Simple approach like the one in Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme, which entails approach of subsidies for toilet construction and information on the transmission of diseases, works fine. This programme has helped achieving a drop of 11% in Open Defecation.

The report finds that the prevalence of various stereotypes in India, contributes to widening differences and serves as further basis of exclusion. The report contrasts the good with the increased absenteeism among high- caste teachers after policy push for political affirmation for backward castes.

This publication aims to inspire and guide the researchers and practitioners who can help advance a new set of development approaches based on a fuller consideration of psychological and social influences.

Of the many solutions suggested, Adaptive design & Adaptive interventions finds a special mention in the report. Institutional mechanisms of development research and policy should ensure space for sound diagnosis and for effective feedback loops for adapting programs that align with the evidence gathered during the implementation. This step might require changing institutional mindsets and increasing an organization’s tolerance for failure.


MANAGER- Communication & Training


Source: WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2015 – A World Bank Group Flagship Report


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