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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Plenary Sessions

System Transformation: 
How the ‘Networked Society’ Can Drive Inclusive Development

How can ICT innovations be leveraged to address the SDGs? How are ICTs transforming relationships of power? What are the most significant risks for vulnerable populations? How can SEEP members and other development actors more effectively promote solutions?

Information communication technologies (ICTs) are capable of reshaping economic and social ecosystems around the globe. Across a diverse set of fields, ICT provides real-time connections and communications which drive new functions, relationships and behaviors. These system features have the potential to empower people to engage with businesses and governments in more influential ways and transform market systems for the benefit of vulnerable populations.

The “networked society” can to help us address some of the most difficult challenges facing the world: food security and nutrition, resilience to climate and conflict shocks, financial inclusion and consumer protection. Digital solutions are considered essential to closing the gap on SDGs. This plenary aims to highlight the opportunities to address these challenges, the potential risks of technological advances for vulnerable groups, and barriers that can limit the impact of innovations.

Kate Wilson Thomas Abell Felipe M. Vasquez
de Velasco
Alan Vernon


Poverty and Inequality:
Using Behavioral Insights to Unlock Scalable Solutions

Why is cognitive bandwidth considered a scare resource? What mental modes most influence decision making? How do the biases of development practitioners undermine well-intentioned strategies? How can insights from behavioral science help us better understand the context of poverty and inequality?

Development interventions rely on explicit or implicit assumptions about how people make decisions and why they do what they do. Those assumptions typically rest on an idealized model of how people think and decide. The practice of Behavioral Insights redesigns approaches on the basis of a more realistic understanding of human decision-making and behavior and offers new targets for policy including choice architecture, social rewards and recognition, expanding aspirations, and activating new social norms.
There is a growing movement to harness the potential of social and behavioral insights in a sustainable and scalable way for both vulnerable populations and for development professionals. In this plenary experts from the World Bank’s Mind, Behavior, and Development Unit (eMBeD) will promote reflection on the context of poverty and inequality and the missed opportunities in many current development efforts. They will discuss the latest knowledge in behavioral science and provide guidance on effectively integrating components of this exciting field into practical applications. 

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