Giving Compass' Take:

• Ideas42 explores the role that behavioral science plays when it comes to healthcare around the world: Learning patterns can address gaps in services.

• Are aid programs that promote health and wellness equipped with enough data to apply the lessons learned from behavioral science? Ideas42 is developing solutions to help young girls, post-partum women, and those who are victims of domestic violence gain access to vital care.

• Behavioral science is important, but it must still work within the system, as this article explains.

April 7 is World Health Day, an awareness campaign the World Health Organization (WHO) leads which in 2018 focuses on universal health coverage (UHC) or #HealthForAll. According to WHO, half the world lacks access to essential health services — UHC means ensuring that all people have access.

While barriers to health services are at times structural or financial, behavioral factors also play an important role. For example, we know that even when products and services that improve health are readily available, people do not always use them. Behavioral approaches to addressing these gaps help ensure that all people receive the services that will help them stay healthy. This is particularly important for groups of people that traditionally have not tapped what is available to them for varying behavioral reasons or who face stigma when attempting to use them.

That’s why we believe behavioral science has something to offer on the path to achieving UHC around the world. How does this look in practice?

One example is with adolescent girls, whose health needs are not always met, especially when it comes to family planning and reproductive health. One problem in particular we have focused on is that many young women and girls would like to avoid pregnancy, but do not use contraceptives. This leads to high rates of unintended pregnancy, which has long-term consequences on their health and future.

Read the full article about promoting #HealthForAll through behavioral science at ideas42.