February 9, 2015
On February 4, 2015, JICA and the World Bank Group held a joint seminar on the World Development Report (WDR) 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior at JICA-Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan.
JICA Vice President Kiyoshi Kodera, in his opening remarks, explained the significance of the WDR and a history of meaningful influence over development policies and practices. Next, Dr. Gauri gave his keynote speech, highlighting main findings of the report. Humans are assumed to make decisions deliberatively, independently, and on the basis of consistent and self-interested preferences. However, Dr. Gauri pointed out that people think and make decisions automatically and socially, with mental models influenced by social norms and biases. He also explained that poverty is a decision making context that costs cognitive abilities. Therefore, he suggested, diagnosing and solving the psychological and social factors that influence development is vital in formulating and implementing policy and interventions. For instance, in Kenya, the weekly reminders of cellphone messages encouraging patients to take their antiretroviral medicine to treat HIV/AIDS was tested to be more effective than daily reminders; another study revealed that providing households with chlorination dispensers to ensure a supply of safe drinking water was more effective than any other intervention.
| （from left）Dr. Gauri, Prof. Sawada, |
Prof. Kawakami, Director Tambo
At the question and answer session, the floor actively discussed over various issues including the applicability of new approach to solve corruption issue in developing countries and the importance of mental health as a human capital. It was also pointed out that further analysis of social norms and biases building on existing researches are needed in order to propose practical and effective development policies.
Presentation files are available on the website of the World Bank
WDR2015 is available on the website of the World Bank.
Varun Gauri, Co-Director of the World Development Report 2015: Mind,Society, and Behavior
|Day||February 04, 2015(Wed)|
|Place||JICA Ichigaya building|