Helping poor people change behavior

The Next Big Thing In Global Poverty: Changing Behavior

To understand how a behavioral approach differs from a traditional one, consider the problem of sanitation. The traditional approach would suggest that to improve sanitation, you have to subsidize latrine construction. But there are now a number of studies that show that millions of people the world over use subsidized latrines to store grains or hold livestock or even as shrines! Addressing the problem requires motivating people to change lifelong habits and to coordinate around new social norms. Some alternative approaches require individuals to make public promises to use the latrines, recognize and give awards to communities that are free from open defecation, and harness the universal emotion of disgust. ….[READ]

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