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What constrains investment in new agricultural technologies?

Dec 07/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

IPA has a fairly sizable research agenda looking at why investment by small farmers is so low given potentially high returns. Is it credit constraints? The risk of drought and crop failure?

Chart of the Day

Dec 03/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Public Understanding of the US Foreign Aid Budget

US Public Opinion on Aid

HT: @viewfromthecave

El Presidente de Innovaciones para la Acción Contra la Pobreza (IPA) habla sobre Microfinanzas en Perú

Dec 02/10 | From the blog
by Miguel Paredes

El Profesor Dean Karlan, presidente de IPA, institución que hace evaluación de impactos a través de experimentos aleatorios, habló en Perú acerca de las últimos descubrimientos en el campo de las Microfinanzas. El evento fue organizado por el Instituto del Perú de la Universidad San Martin y se tituló “Microfinanzas: ¿Que funciona y que no?

Al evento asistieron diversas personas ligadas al mundo de las Microfinanzas en el Perú.

Can education help prevent HIV/AIDS?

Dec 01/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Yes (at least in the short term).

We did a study in 2003-2006 with the Kenyan Ministry of Education and a non-profit International Child Support. In their Analysis, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas and Michael Kremer found positive results both from training teachers in the national AIDS curriculum, and providing incentives for girls to stay in school. 

RCTs: The hot new idea from 350 BC

Nov 30/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

A lot of the papers in say experimental social psychology published today could have been written a thousand years ago so psychology is behind its time. More generally, random clinical trials are way behind their time.  An alternative history in which Aristotle or one of his students extolled the virtue of randomization and testing does not seem impossible and yet it would have changed the world.

Evaluating the Millennium Development Villages

Nov 30/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Gabriel Demombynes and Michael Clemens published a paper recently lamenting the lack of a rigorous (randomized) evaluation of the Millennium Development Villages Project.

Whilst we can’t [yet?] give you that, we can give you something pretty similar.

Quote of the Day

Nov 28/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Detailed measurement and evidence of what works and what doesn't in development is one of our most powerful weapons in the battle against global poverty. We need to know what works, and keep on doing it.

Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development

How to fix the microcredit crisis in India

Nov 26/10 | From the blog

Leading microfinance researchers including several IPA affiliates write in The Indian Express on the current crisis in microcredit and the government's response. They argue that the heavy-handed response by the Andhra Pradesh government risks making the poor worse off, and instead propose five immediate starting points for reform:

Peace-building in Liberia

Nov 26/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Chris Blattman is off to Liberia to check in on a couple of projects being implemented with IPA. I'm pretty sure our excellent field staff will have everything under control.

One project is a study on a training program for former civil war combatants, another an evaluation of a peace education program. If you thought that RCTs couldn't do governance, you thought wrong.

Saving the Poor

Nov 22/10 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

Last week Melinda Gates announced new funding of $500 million for micro-savings services in the developing world. In her speech she cited research being conducted by IPA on commitment savings accounts in Malawi. These accounts have had huge huge impacts, increasing bank deposits, farm investments, and ultimately consumption.

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