In a recent article in Science, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman find that small loans in the Philippines helped households manage risk, but did nothing for business growth, and actually seemed to reduce subjective wellbeing.
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation recently secured funding for the next four years, enough to immunise more than a quarter of a billion children in developing countries. This is estimated to save more than 4 million lives by 2015, which is clearly fantastic news. Vaccines are an incredibly cost effective way of improving and saving lives.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I recently applied to transition from my current position on the Rainwater Storage Device evaluation in Kamwenge to a new IPA project in Kampala. The project is a little different than the traditional line of work for IPA, namely rigorous impact evaluations, instead we plan to work with NGOs to support and improve upon their Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems. Two weeks ago I got the new job, last weekend was spent looking for an apartment in Kampala, and the past four days were spent running around Kamwenge putting thin
More good stuff from the World Bank's Development Impact blog: David McKenzie has a brilliant 'rant' on the external validity double standard, where people are more likely to fault randomized trials for illuminating only a particular context.
"Mr Banerjee and Ms Duflo advocate what they call a “quiet revolution”. They insist that things can be improved “at the margin”, which is an economist’s way of saying that things can get better, even if they are very bad."