First Person Perspective – LIFT-Los Angeles’ Behavioral Design Project

By Araceli Lopez-Andrade on July 1, 2016

Categories: First Person Perspective, Our Work, Real Stories

On May 16 and 17, Helah Robinson, LIFT’s national program director, and I represented  LIFT at the first convening of ideas42’s Behavioral Design Project for Promoting Financial Health in New York City. As a member of the project, LIFT-Los Angeles will partner with ideas42 to infuse behaviorally informed designs into our programming, and will connect with a cohort of other agencies across the country to learn and share best practices.

During this two-day kickoff meeting we learned about fundamental psychologies that impact people’s behavior, and strategies to assess, account for and design around these behaviors in an effort to make our services more accessible and impactful.

And we started to put that into practice soon after, identifying a behavior that we know causes challenges for our members: using check cashers instead of opening a bank account. We want our members to think longer-term and consider all the benefits of a simple checking or savings account. With the support of the behavioral experts, ideas42 and our cohort, we hope to learn the step-by-step process to design an intervention or service to support this behavior change.

In late June we had our first cohort call with two other organizations in the project. Getting to know the other members and learning about what they offer their clients reminded me of how connected their services are to ours. It was also nice to hear we all share some of the same challenges around member engagement, retention and following through with goals.

In this short amount of time we’ve already learned first-hand how to see behaviors through a different lens. It’s as if we are exercising a different muscle in our brain. One that views behaviors of others and identifies how they can be modified or changed. We have learned how to break down processes into steps and by doing so are able to see where the opportunities are. This is exciting and significant for our work at LIFT as it will give us a whole new set of strategies to create impactful and long-term change for our members.

Stay tuned for more updates as we design and implement new approaches for improving the financial health of our Los Angeles community!


About the Author

Araceli Lopez-Andrade

As Program Director of LIFT-Los Angeles, Araceli manages all program delivery and member services. She will supervise a diverse team of program staff members, fellows and volunteers while developing and strengthening partnerships with community partners. In her role, she will help develop, guide and implement program activities that will meet the organization’s goals. Araceli LIFTs because Read More