Tom Wein

Another new post on the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics’ blog, this time on the Science of Behavior Change consortium and the value of taxonomies:

One especially valuable resource is now available on the SOBC website: a repository of measures. It features 186 different measures relevant to creating and measuring real improvements in people’s health — with more to come. Unlike other measure repositories, the SOBC repository is particularly interesting due to its excellent ability to filter by the domain of the measure, the extent to which it has been validated, and even its duration. For each measure, details are given on its background, some of the projects in which it has been used, how to cite it, the validation process it has undergone and its psychometric performance, and more.

Read the full post here.

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New blogpost with the Busara Center on our cross-cultural research agenda:

“How can we claim to know what we know if — even within this limited pool of knowledge — plenty of catchy findings fall by the wayside for reasons ranging from outright fraud to a simple failure to replicate? What do our findings about one group of people in one place and time mean about what we know of another group somewhere else? And, if these findings can’t serve those with the least power in the world, correcting power imbalances, then who are we pursuing this knowledge for?”

Read the full post here.

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This summer I’ve been working with the Busara Center on their CREME research agenda — culture, research ethics, and methods. Today we’re publishing 3 papers outlining the 3-year research agenda for each of those.

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New article at Apolitical with Neela Saldanha and Cait Lamberton. Read the full piece here.

Government bureaucracies are rarely created with the full humanity of citizens in mind.

Typically, they invite individual citizens to steer themselves into labelled boxes, or else get them to jump through one-size-fits-all hoops. People with different stories, needs and wants end up waiting in line to submit easily sorted information about who they are, and more often than not are treated as numbers, rather than as people.

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The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee is running a new inquiry on the philosophy and culture of aid.

I provided a short evidence submission to their inquiry, on dignity in development. You can read it here.

A brief extract:

If you run a business in Hargeisa, Somaliland, here’s how you pay your taxes. A group of men, some of them armed, turn up at a time of their choosing. They make an arbitrary calculation of what they can get from you, and send you off to wait for hours to pay. They may arrest you or your employees without warning, or shut down your shop. Women face sexual harassment. People are not treated as equals, they have no choice or chance to consent. They are not recognised as dignified humans.

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In April 2020, we surveyed 407 members of SurveyMonkey’s panel of US non-profit professionals. 79% were personally committed to raising dignity with their colleagues, as an issue where they could do better. That reinforces our sense that this is a moment for dignity — a time when a longstanding rhetorical commitment can result in real and lasting progress toward respectful treatment for all.

We found a sector committed to real change, and a set of practical evidence-based ways to build cultures of dignity.

Read more here.

Thanks to Shelmith Kariuki, Mark Mills and Jo Meredith Hardy for their assistance with this work.

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Tom Wein

Tom Wein

Writing about dignity, development and organising. tomweinresearch.me for more.