-Behavioral Economics

The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) has more than 30 years of experience in strategic social and behavior change communication (SBCC) and has used behavioral economics (BE) concepts over the past decades to influence how and why people make choices that affect their own health and well being and that of their families and communities.

Launched in 2016, (re)solve is a four-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is led by Pathfinder International in partnership with Camber Collective, The International Center for Women, and ideas42, and is active in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia.

While many Senegalese mothers visit health facilities to immunize their newborns, far fewer discuss family planning options with a health worker. Integrating family planning counseling into immunization services is a promising practice to address reproductive health needs in the extended postpartum period. A project supported by Ideas42 and IntraHealth developed a behaviorally informed model that integrates these two services to help more women access the family planning option that is right for them.

The project conducted formative research to systematically define a behavioral problem, drawing from health facility observations, interviews with key stakeholders, and discussions with partners. These insights led Breakthrough ACTION to develop the following behavioral problem statement: Providers do not counsel postpartum women on the full range of contraceptive methods in a way that women internalize. We want providers to consistently provide comprehensive FP counseling that resonates with their clients.

Behavioral design checklists can help a one discover in minutes if a program, product or service is designed for how people really behave—and find proven tactics for improvement. It is suggested that these checklists be utilized to ensure that programs are optimized for success.

This essay focuses on the role of behavior change in improving individual and social outcomes. Our framework is based on the work of ideas42—an organization that uses insights from behavioral science to design scalable solutions for social impact.