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Mind, Behavior and Development Unit

eMBeD uses behavioral sciences to fight global poverty and reduce inequality.

Brochure Results Portfolio

Behaviorally informed policy pays special attention to the social, psychological, and economic factors that affect what people think and do.  

Our approach addresses details in bureaucracies, technologies, and service delivery that are often overlooked in standard policy design—ultimately informing creative and often low-cost solutions that contribute to the global effort to eliminate poverty and increase equity.  

As the World Bank’s behavioral sciences team, eMBeD works closely with project teams, governments, and other partners to diagnose, design, and evaluate behaviorally informed interventions. We help policy makers themselves avoid some of the decision-making traps and biases that affect all individuals and, with a worldwide network of scientists and practitioners, provide answers to important economic and social questions. 

Download our brochure (in EnglishSpanishFrenchPortuguese, or Arabic) or our Results Portfolio to learn more. 



Influence and Impact: Power of Social Media and Behavioral Science in ...

What can behavioral science and social media do for development? Join us for a morning of engaging panel discussions and lightning talks to explore how these tools can be effectively harnessed, their pitfalls, and future opportunities to address global challenges and eliminate poverty on a livable planet.


Behavioral Science and Poverty

When you think of behavioral science, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? On this episode of the Poverty Podcast, we’ll explore that field and see how the World Bank has been using behavioral science in its global programs.


Applying a behavioral science lens to decision-making

Beliefs, motivation, and social identities can influence the behavior of those working in policymaking toward beneficiaries of projects. Likewise, organizational culture and bureaucratic norms can help shape decisions and actions of civil servants.


Vaccine hesitancy: 10 lessons from chatbotting about COVID-19 in 17 countries

As the first COVID-19 vaccines started being administered a little more than a year ago, a wave of optimism swept a world battered by millions of deaths and facing an economic crisis due to the pandemic.


Can Be Grit Be Taught?

This paper studies whether a particular socio-emotional skill — grit (the ability to sustain effort and interest toward long-term goals) — can be cultivated and how this affects student learning.


Nudging in the Time of the Coronavirus

This paper presents the results of a randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of taxpayer communications informed by behavioral science in inducing business payroll tax compliance at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Browse our Results Briefs

Learn more about our different projects, including project design, results, and policy implications.



Abigail Dalton - Nudging to End Poverty

Abigail Dalton - Nudging to End Poverty | Nudgestock 2021

Abby Dalton discusses how to improve poverty outcomes and policy using the existing infrastructure of a country, just by using some smart behavioural science.

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