J-PAL Europe, the Ministry of Basic Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso, and IPA Burkina Faso co‑hosted an international conference on education on July 10-11 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, featuring the presence of Mrs. Koumba Boly, Minister of Education of Burkina Faso, and Esther Duflo, Professor of Economics at MIT and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). More than a hundred and fifty people gathered to learn about evidence from several impact evaluations implemented in Western Africa, including the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI) and speed school (SSA/P) initiatives in Ghana and Mali, respectively. This event was an opportunity to bring together local policymakers, NGO representatives and IPA and JPAL researchers working to improve access to quality education.
Growing up in the California Bay Area with temperate weather year round, seasonality to me meant the difference between putting on a t-shirt or a light sweater in the morning. However, here in Eastern Zambia, seasonality affects a lot more than just clothes: the vast majority of people are subsistence farmers, the economy is largely agrarian, and, because agriculture relies on the rains, there is only one harvest each year.
IPA founder Dean Karlan and Project Associate Nate Barker took a break from their work on Ultra Poor Graduation pilots to crunch some World Cup numbers for the New York Times' The Upshot. They suggest a utilitarian approach, ranking the teams in the competition by which countries would benefit the most from a victory.