September 21, 2012
All the kids are back in school, and Students for Proven Impact (SPI) is poised for a big year around the world, with chapters already running at full speed at Yale University, St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, and the University of Ghana. New SPI chapters will also start up this year at Baylor University, Bryant University, Haverford College, and Pomona College.
Our founding Yale chapter is currently working with Global Health Professions Microfinance on a panel to be held this October that will address the effectiveness of microfinance in the developing world, and chapter members are developing plans to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on and around campus in the coming months. The Yale chapter also plans to work with Start Community Bank again this year and to go into public schools once more to teach about poverty.
Diva Dhar, Policy and Training Manager for the Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results at J-PAL South Asia, spoke to the Delhi chapter on impact evaluation methods, and the chapter held several student sessions on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as well as book club meetings on Poor Economics to prepare for the talk. The next day, representatives from Pratham, an education NGO that partnered with J-PAL and IPA on a ground-breaking study of remedial education gave a talk to the chapter on the topic “Evaluating Primary Education: The Pratham and ASER Story.” The speakers, Shayak Banerjee (Pratham) and Purnima Ramanujan (ASER) spoke to chapter members about their work and methods. The two events went together particularly well, and students in the economics department at St. Stephen’s College are developing a passionate interest in rigorous development research. Chapter presidents Ritwika Sen and Abishek Pandit are very excited about the coming year!
Students for Proven Impact at the University of Ghana-Legon is SPI’s first Africa chapter, and they have started off with 4 committed officers and about 50 members, with advisory support from researchers at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER). SPI is looking forward to the Ghana chapter’s first year and to the opening of new chapters in the U.S. and around the world.
If you are back at school and interested in starting a chapter at your college or university, visit IPA's dedicated SPI page to find student resources, or send an email to Nicole Mauriello, IPA's Proven Impact Manager and resident student group advisor, to get the process started!