Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact (MBA)

Health, and development more broadly, is not something we give to people: it is something they produce themselves, interacting with supply-side and institutional factors. This course trains students to see through the lens of the end-user and to use the levers of behavior change to generate impact in health and social programs. Although most of the applications are in global health, it is appropriate for students who anticipate working in health, education, or international development sectors, as well as those with a general interest in learning how behavioral economics can be effectively applied.

In this course, students learn how to design products and services from the perspective of the patient/customer and the provider/supplier.

The course is organized around three core modules, each of which focus on one of the elements that comes together to jointly produce a health outcome: the customer, the provider, and the system:

  1. How do we understand the needs of the customer (patient)? How do we design and deliver products to meet those needs?

  2. How do we motivate the providers and ensure they are providing the best care possible?

  3. How can the larger health system, including private sector actors, enable the production of health? How do we change practices on a system-level?

Through exposure to major practitioner challenges and innovative solutions from HBS Case discussions, protagonists from the field, expert guest faculty from across Harvard, and engagement with cutting edge research in public health, public policy, psychology, and economics, students will learn to bridge the worlds of research and action to creatively, and skillfully, make an impact in global health.

Course Syllabus (PDF)


MGH: Information for Prospective Students

Find out what alumni have said about the influence of "Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact" on their careers:

 

Hear more from Professor Ashraf about the course:


Field Experiments (PhD)

This course is for doctoral students who want to learn how to design and run field experiments as a research methodology. The objective is for students to refine their own experimental designs and be able to run them by the end of the course, leading to an academic paper.

The course will be hands-on and oriented towards providing technical skills for the design and implementation of field experiments, including overcoming the many possible associated pitfalls. We will examine in-depth examples of how field experiments are designed, implemented and analyzed, including the “back story” of several published field experiments.

We will also discuss at length throughout the course how to use field experiments to test academic theory as opposed to only for policy/impact evaluation. The course also introduces particularly fruitful areas for research using field experiments and facilitates students’ presentations of their own research ideas.


Course Syllabus (PDF)

Executive Education

HBS offers five focused Social Enterprise Executive Education programs each year, three targeted toward nonprofit leaders, one for corporate leaders, and one for teams of education leaders within urban public school districts. Taught by a team of faculty members from HBS and other graduate schools within Harvard University, Social Enterprise Executive Education programs feature a wide variety of management cases and materials. Additionally, HBS has hosted a number of Social Enterprise custom programs with individual organizations and interest groups when their needs have aligned with faculty research interests and areas of focus.


HBS Executive Education Page

Cases and Teaching Materials

Ashraf, Nava. "Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 914–031, March 2014. (Course Overview Note for Instructors.)

Ashraf, Nava. "Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 914–025, February 2014. (Revised April 2014.) (Course Overview Note for Students. Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, and Kristin Johnson. "Setting Price Effectively." Harvard Business School Background Note 914–037, March 2014. (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, Andrew Boozary, and Kristin Johnson. "Uptake of Rapid Diagnostic Tests: A Development Challenge." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914–042, March 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, and Natalie Kindred. "Roll Back Malaria and BCG: The Change Initiative." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914–041, March 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, and Kristin Johnson. "Evaluating Microsavings Programs: Green Bank of the Philippines (A), (B) and (C)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914–022, January 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, and Natalie Kindred. "Oral Rehydration Therapy." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914–038, March 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, and Kristin Johnson. "Community Health Workers in Zambia: Incentive Design and Management." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914–024, February 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin, and Marc Shotland. "Evaluating Microsavings Programs: Green Bank of the Philippines (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914–003, February 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin, and Marc Shotland. "Evaluating Microsavings Programs: Green Bank of the Philippines (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914–002, February 2014.

Ashraf, Nava, and Kristin Johnson. "Incentives at the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)." Harvard Business School Background Note 914–036, February 2014. (Revised April 2014.) (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava. "Impacting Global Health." Harvard Business School Class Lecture 912–702, December 2011.

Ashraf, Nava, Neil Buddy Shah, Rachel Gordon, and Elena Moroz. "Deworming Kenya: Translating Research into Action (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 910–002, June 2010. (Revised March 2014.)

Ashraf, Nava, and Natalie Kindred. "Community Health Workers in Zambia: Incentive Design and Management." Harvard Business School Case 910–030, March 2010. (Revised February 2014.) (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, Natalie Kindred, and Richard Sedlmayr. "Uptake of Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests." Harvard Business School Case 911–007, January 2011. (Revised April 2014.) (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, and Claire Qureshi. "Oral Rehydration Therapy." Harvard Business School Case 911–035, December 2010. (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin, and Marc Shotland. "Evaluating Microsavings Programs: Green Bank of the Philippines (A)." Harvard Business School Case 909–062, June 2009. (Revised February 2014.) (Request a courtesy copy.)

Ashraf, Nava, Neil Buddy Shah, and Rachel Gordon. "Deworming Kenya: Translating Research into Action (A)." Harvard Business School Case 910–001, March 2010. (Revised April 2010.)

Ashraf, Nava, Neil Buddy Shah, and Rachel Gordon. "Deworming Kenya: Translating Research into Action (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 910–027, March 2010.

Ashraf, Nava, Rachel Gordon, and Catherine Ross. "Roll Back Malaria and BCG: The Change Initiative." Harvard Business School Case 910–023, March 2010. (Revised March 2014.) (Request a courtesy copy.)

Rangan, V. Kasturi, Nava Ashraf, and Marie Bell. "PSI: Social Marketing Clean Water." Harvard Business School Case 507–052, January 2007. (Revised December 2007.) (Request a courtesy copy.)