News and Announcements
IPA and its partner organization J-PAL are working to improve the quality of education in post-conflict areas. Learn more about one recent experiment in this important field, and the successful results we found, here.
Access to quality education, particularly primary education, is a crucial development component, especially in post-conflict areas. Conflict-affected countries are the furthest from achieving the six Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals. More than 28 million children of primary school age living in conflict-affected areas do not have access to education, accounting for 42 percent of the world's out-of-school children.[i] Although in recent years school enrollment rates have increased in many post-conflict countries, reading, writing and numeracy skills are still below expected levels. One of the major challenges still facing the education sector in these areas is the struggle to determine ways to improve the quality of education once children do enroll in greater numbers.
With this challenge in mind, Poverty Action Lab is leading the way in the effort to identify effective interventions to improve the quality of primary education in these areas. To address the pervasive quality-issue of teacher absenteeism, Esther Duflo lead an experiment in sixty rural schools in India, where each day a student used a camera with a tamper-proof time and date stamp to take a photograph of the teacher in the classroom. The results of the experiment were very successful, with teachers in the program schools showing to have had half the absentee rate of those in comparison schools. Other success metrics, such as improved test scores, were also reported.
Read more about IPA's work on education-based initiatives in post-conflict areas, including Afghanistan.
A new foundation called Good Ventures, started by Facebook Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, is donating money to charities recommended by GiveWell. For those of you who have been following GiveWell's charity evaluation, they rated IPA as a top 8 "standout organization" for donations.
[GiveWell board member Cari Tuna] wrote in a blog post last month that Good Ventures would donate $500,000 to the Against Malaria Foundation and $250,000 to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the No. 1 and No. 2 charities as ranked by GiveWell.
Other nonprofits on GiveWell’s list of “standout” organizations—GiveDirectly, Innovations for Poverty Action, KIPP Houston, Nyaya Health, Pratham, and the Small Enterprise Foundation—would get money from Good Ventures in the coming months, Ms. Tuna wrote.
“One simple idea—that all donors should be at least as thoughtful about our philanthropic investments as we are about our financial investments—has transformed the way I think about giving,” she says.
Check out the full article here.
- Jan 05/12 | From the newsroom |
The SME Initiative is pleased to announce a THIRD ROUND of funding for the SME Initiative’s Competition on Entrepreneurship and SME Growth. The goal of the grants is to fund innovative research that “build a systemic body of evidence on the contribution of SMEs and entrepreneurship to poverty alleviation and economic development.” We hope this competition will have a catalyzing effect to stimulate high quality research on the role of access to finance and human capital for SME growth and their contribution to development.
Merck Serono has announced that it will be doubling its annual donation of praziquantel tablets, the drug used to treat schistosomiasis, from 25 million to 50 million tablets. The donations will continue indefinitely until schistosomiasis has...
"Last week, Innovations for Poverty Action’s SME Initiative brought together researchers and practitioners to discuss recent research on SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), mostly in the developing world." A brief summary of the conference.
On November 30, 2011, MIF General Manager Nancy Lee delivered opening remarks at the Innovations for Poverty Action SME Initiative Conference, co-hosted by IPA and the MIF and held at the IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This annual event brings together a broad stakeholder group of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the latest research on entrepreneurship and SME development in emerging markets.
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