Chapter 17. What You’ll Need for Your Team

Over the past ten years, a range of researchers across the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) have applied behavioral lessons in their development projects or conducted field studies of their own. Starting in 2015, the IADB wanted to have a more coordinated approach, however.

In working with the bank leadership, Carlos Scartascini created a unified group to support and grow the diffuse efforts already in place. The core team composed of fellows and visiting scholars provides training for government officials in member countries and for IADB specialists (they’ve trained more than two hundred staff members thus far), disseminates best practices, and consults on individual projects as needed.

Beyond the central team, they work with more than 20 dedicated behavioralists in other departments and numerous others who apply behavioral science across the bank, from education to sanitation. Nearly every department has someone in-house who combines their area of expertise with some knowledge of behavioral science for development.

For the IADB, with $1 billion lent for development projects each year, this structure helps them manage the massive scope and diversity of their work. It allows them to combine deep knowledge within each department, on the specific needs of healthcare or infrastructure projects, for example, with knowledge of the latest findings and techniques in behavioral science.

Behavioral science teams don’t have a single design ...

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