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Africa beyond the Western Imagination

May 01/12 | From the blog
by Rohit Naimpally

Actual Africans would live in villages designed by economist Jeffrey Sachs.

Those villagers would wear wholesome hand-made ethnic clothing, dance to wholesome ethnic music and during the day they would grow food communally and engage in things called income-generating activities.

For our own protection, American peacekeepers and Nato planes would surround the villages - making hearts and minds happy and safe.

Cookstoves on the backburner?

Apr 27/12 | From the blog
by Rohit Naimpally

There is a pithy adage that every simple question has a complicated answer.

The Impact of Change (the monetary kind)

Apr 25/12 | From the blog
by Heidi McAnnally-Linz

Today's NYTimes draws attention to how Zimbabweans are spending so much time waiting around for change -- not change of the political nature this time, the NYTimes notes, but change--small money--for any simple purchase.

Grantee Spotlight: A Credit Card You Can Trust

Apr 23/12 | From the blog
by Rebecca Rouse and Brooke Berman

This blog series highlights the US Household Finance Initiative's Innovation Fund grantees. The fund supports the development of scalable, market-tested products that help households make better financial decisions, escape cycles of debt, build assets and achieve financial resiliency.

Dispensers for Safe Water in Haiti

Apr 18/12 | From the blog
by Lilian Lehmann and Alexandra Fielden

“Has anyone in your family had cholera in the last 6 months?” the surveyor asks. “Yes. Five. Wait, no, six” the head of the household responds. Another family member sitting on the front step of their straw-thatched hut chimes in, “No, no, it’s seven.”


Financial Literacy Week at the New York Stock Exchange

Apr 17/12 | From the blog
by Rebecca Rouse

On Friday, Brooke Berman and I represented IPA’s U.S. Household Finance Initiative (USHFI) at the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell ceremony. The event followed a panel on “Ensuring Consumers' Financial Success through Innovation and Technology” as part of Financial Literacy Week (April 9-13).

Being Smarter About Safe Water

Mar 22/12 | From the blog
by Jeremy Hand

This blog was originally posted on the Impatient Optimists blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for World Water Day.

Crowding out Informal Savings and Borrowing

Mar 20/12 | From the blog
by Dean Karlan

This blog series highlights the randomized trial of the impact of Compartamos, a for-profit microlender in Mexico, and their expansion in the Nogales area. The questions came from the original post here.

Outcome measure: Is there substitution between use of Compartamos (Crédito Mujer) and informal lending/savings mechanisms?

Grantee Spotlight: Freedom First Credit Union

Mar 16/12 | From the blog
by Brooke Berman

This blog series highlights the US Household Finance Initiative's Innovation Fund grantees. The fund supports the development of scalable, market-tested products that help households make better financial decisions, escape cycles of debt, build assets and achieve financial resiliency. 

Posting Hypotheses for an Impact Study of Compartamos

Mar 13/12 | From the blog
by Dean Karlan

We are nearing completion of a randomized trial of the impact of Compartamos, a for-profit microlender in Mexico, and their expansion in the Nogales area. We will be posting our hypothesis before we do the analysis, and encourage readers to do the same, for three reasons:

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