August 05, 2009
Check out this post in the New York Times' Freakonomics Blog Dwyer Gunn's time tagging along with the research team for the WINGS project in Uganda. "I went to northern Uganda to observe an economic experiment - a randomized program intervention...
July 24, 2009
There’s been more activity on the question of the importance of RCTs. Last week, Bill Easterly wrote his thoughts about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on his blog, and Chris Blattman posted a response. Both of them seem to take the perspective...
Camille Boudot & Andre Butler
July 24, 2009
I just finished piloting a survey for the Returns to Business Management Consulting project, and was often in awe of their abilities. A good surveyor can say nice to meet you, shake your hand, and five minutes later have you saying things you ...
July 21, 2009
FAI invites you to two upcoming events: ACCION USA Microfinance Council: Domestic Microfinance Panel Discussion Location: The New School, 66 West 12th St., 5th Floor, Wollman Hall, NY, NY Date: July 27, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. Hear insights from FAI...
July 16, 2009
In early June, I joined several hundred researchers at the First European Research Conference on Microfinance hosted by CERMi. The three-day conference included presentations on a wide array of subjects including social responsibility,...
July 07, 2009
How has Michael Jackson's death helped advance the cause of IPA? I've just come back from rural Cusco, Perú, where we were training credit officers for our newest project, where we use video and radio to help teach village bank clients concepts...
July 05, 2009
Courtesy of the Wronging Rights blog (http://wrongingrights.blogspot.com/2009/07/using-metaphors-to-solve-worlds.html), here (http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/01/new_anticorruption_device_pocketless_pants) is one of the more peculiar...
June 30, 2009
When we return to the US after months or years of working in the field, we often experience "reverse culture shock" - aspects of US culture seem surprising and unusual to us. I felt this when explaining "What is IPA?" to family members and friends...
June 30, 2009
Fieldwork is not all fun and games, but that seems to be the recent experience for IPA Research Affiliate Chris Blattman's project evaluation, "Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS) Program" In two recent blog posts, he describes how including...
June 19, 2009
We just completed the baseline survey for one of the projects I’m working on in Cagayan de Oro, the Philippines. Consequently, I’ve been spending most of my time the last few weeks thinking about how to get good data. Getting the right information...
June 08, 2009
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof offers an online degree in evading bandits for Americans abroad. Although I suspect that most IPAers would agree with the spirit of Kristof's recommendation - that young people should spend time abroad - I...
May 27, 2009
IPA research affiliate Chris Blattman occasionally takes a break from his rigorous impact evaluations of clowns to send a great idea out into the blogosphere. A couple of weeks ago, he suggested that what development organizations really need to...
May 20, 2009
Once, expressing concern over some logistical difficulty, I was reassured by a headmaster, “Do not worry Sarah, we shall succeed.” Such conversations tend to surprise me, as we’re introducing a savings scheme to an area defined by general distrust...
May 20, 2009
A funny thing is happening these days in Northern Ghana. After months and months of planning, we are almost at the point where we give 200 farmers actual cash to use on their maize farms. As with many of IPA’s research projects, the participants are...
May 20, 2009
Last week the New York Times reported on the demolition of the home of one the child stars from Slumdog Millionaire: “In a scene reminiscent of the gritty landscape from the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” municipal workers on Thursday demolished...
May 14, 2009
So far, 2009 has been a fertile time for methodological debates in econometrics. One hot debate touches directly on randomized control trials (RCTs), a methodology often used in impact evaluations of development interventions. On one side, renowned...
May 04, 2009
Nice blog post by David Roodman at the Center for Global Development. Two randomized trials on microcredit coming within the next month. One from India and one from Philippines. Stay tuned please....
May 01, 2009
In a set of recent interviews with microfinance institutions in the Philippines, we discussed the challenges faced by organizations offering agricultural microloans. One non-profit we spoke with is having particular difficulty, with portfolio at...
April 22, 2009
Check out two recent blog posts that describe the importance of experiments in making smart decisions about microcredit programs and other business ventures. David Roodman of the Center for Global Development does a good job of explaining the...
April 20, 2009
This month's Atlantic Monthly has a controversial article about breastfeeding, specifically making arguments against breastfeeding. The arguments are of two types. One is social and normative, and the other is on the evidence. My thoughts,...