News and Announcements
- Mar 29/12 | From the newsroom |
The Devex Development Newswire questions whether or not the development community has been spreading misconceptions of poverty, drawing on Abhijit Banerjee's work. An except:
Abhijit Banerjee, co-author of the book “Poor Economics” and Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT, says the development community often ties poverty with “hunger” and “malnutrition.” But Banerjee said income levels have nothing to do with malnutrition, and that some rich countries have higher rates of malnutrition than poor nations.
Do free bed nets in some countries lead to more cases of malaria? Could anti-parasite pills raise school attendance in one country and have no effect in another? How cheap does preventative care have to be for low-income families to see the doctor?
There might not be a perfect way to answer these thorny questions on a country-by-country basis. But some leading scientists think the most rigorous answer comes from what they call "randomized controlled trials."
Esther Duflo is widely recognized as the world's leading advocate of randomized controlled trials in development economics. As a methodology, RCTs have been used for over a half-century in clinical medicine, where the effect of a drug or medical procedure is confirmed or denied in scientific experiments involving control and treatment groups. The use of RCTs to address global poverty is a phenomenon of the last decade, but it has caught on with the force of a paradigm shift in economics, public policy, and other disciplines.
Young Global Leader and DtW Board Member Sriram Raghavan, emphasizes the need for school-based deworming to become a standard practice in his recent blog entry, “Deworming to stay in school” which was published today on the World Economic Forum's...
Peru's Ministry of Economy and Finance as well as the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion announced that they would work together with the Quipu Commission to work to reduce poverty in Peru.
An excerpt (translated from original Spanish):
...the work of the Quipu Commission is extremely important as we work to improve social interventions, adequately distribute the state's resources, and ultimately to benefit the poorest of the poor, which is our principal objective....
The objective of the Quipu commission is to identify desired results and to work to understand which public policy interventions are most effective at acheiving those results.
The Quipu Commission seeks to generate innovative proposals and empirical evidence that the Peruvian government can use to answer key policy questions and design and implement better public policies. It is named after the quipu, a measurement device used by the Incas to keep track of its finances, economy, and demographics, among other areas of its empire.
To achieve this goal, J-PAL – along with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Soluciones Empresariales para la Pobreza (Business Solutions for Poverty; SEP), the Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social of Peru (Ministry for Social Development and Inclusion; MIDIS), and the Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas (Ministry of Economics and Finance; MEF) – will bring together academics, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss the most pressing social issues and public policy questions in Peru and develop evidence-based policies that aim at resolving them.
"Christopher Woodruff talks to Viv Davies about his recent research in Sri Lanka that looks at the constraints to growth of micro-enterprises and how to generate job creation; he highlights the effects of wage subsidies, savings programmes, entrepreneurship training, firm registration and the transition from small informal firms to more dynamic enterprises."
“After a comprehensive review of existing studies, with particular focus on recent randomized control trials,” David Roodman released a new book arguing that “the average impact of microcredit on poverty reduction of clients is zero.” How should the SME movement learn from the research on microfinance?
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