PI Chris Blattman published an open letter to Bill Gates in Vox.com, citing several IPA studies. Gates has a plan to boost chicken ownership in sub-Saharan Africa from five to 30 percent. But we know from rigorous randomized controlled trials that cash is cheap, effective, and easy to deliver. Blattman urges Gates to promote a randomized controlled trial to determine which is the most effective and efficient way to help the poor.
Among Southeast Asian Countries, Myanmar suffers particularly from flooding, cyclones, and landslides. For low-income populations, these natural disasters can be especially devastating, leading to child malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. Intellasia reports on how IPA Myanmar is partnering with Save the Children to generate evidence on the effectiveness of government-led cash transfer programs on child nutrition and hygiene.
The "hunger season," after last season's harvest has run out but before the new one has come in, is an annual problem in many farming communities. The Financial Times reports on IPAs successful test of an idea to incentivize family members to look for temporary work in the city to support their families. Based on our data, the program is now being scaled up there.
This weekend's The New York Times Magazine on The Future of Work has a featured profile on GiveDirectly and the organization's quest to "show the world that a basic income is a cheap, scalable way to aid the poorest people on the planet."
Read more about IPA's work with GiveDirectly and cash transfers here.
Significant evidence so far points to the success of graduation style programs to get people out of poverty. These programs help the poorest “graduate” from destitution into sustainable livelihoods, largely by fostering self-dependence and resilience before disaster hits. In 2015 the Consulting Group to Assist the Poor at the World Bank and Ford Foundation released research documenting how graduation programs worked across contexts, in six countries, with six different implementers, to assist the poorest people out of poverty.
The Economist talks about IPA's work in microcredit, flexible repayment loans, and ultra-poor graduation studies.
For the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day, shocks such as illness, crop failures, livestock deaths, farming-equipment breakdowns and even wedding or funeral expenses can be enough to tip them, their families, or even an entire community below the poverty line. A major challenge for international development efforts is determining which financial tools provide durable buffers against such setbacks.
While meeting this challenge is a clear priority for policy makers and donors, it is also a major profit opportunity for commercial players who can solve market failures...
Professor Ahmed Mushfiq Mubarak of Yale School of Management was recently interviewed by a leading Bangladeshi newspaper ‘The Daily Prothom-Alo’. In the interview, he was asked about his research projects, especially the seasonal migration project, and how it impacted farming families who face food insecurity for a period before the harvest (popularly known in Bangladesh as ‘Monga’). He also answered many additional questions regarding this study that the editorial board of the newspaper raised.
In response to a question on why seasonal migration to be incentivized when migration is...
Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak of Yale University, who has experimented with encouraging Bangladeshi farmers to migrate to cities during the lean season, thinks it unfair to compare carefully tested projects to others where the cost-benefit numbers are “essentially made up”. Binning reliable, low-scoring projects for untested high-scoring ones would be foolish. But if the upshot is more scrutiny for promising projects, the exercise is useful. And almost anything would be better than spending money on projects because their backers can tell a good story, or because they are supported by powerful...
In northern rural Bangladesh, the autumn lean season is the most difficult time of year, especially in Rangpur, where close to half of the 15.8 million residents live below the poverty line.
The landless poor in Rangpur primarily work as day laborers on neighboring farms. But in September, while waiting for crops to mature in the fields, there is no farm work to be done. Wages fall, and at the same time, food becomes scarce because harvest is still months away, so the price of rice goes up.
The double blow of low wages and high food prices means that households are forced to...
The multi-billion youth programmes by the government and the private sector have had little impact on growing their income, economic researchers argued yesterday.
The projects, whose roll out started in earnest in the last decade, have nonetheless improved their welfare through increased wages and new enterprises, the researchers said.
The implementation, they added, should be backed by research evidence to create sustainable job opportunities.
Political debates are good even when they’re bad. Even when candidates are cringe-worthy, they’re cringe-worthy in public view. And voters learn about all the candidates, not just new ones. In the United States, for example, Hillary Clinton has been center stage in political life for 24 years. Donald Trump is the very definition of “overexposed.” Still, the debates tell us new things about them — their positions, temperament, grace under pressure (or lack thereof), charisma and political skill.
How much more could voters benefit from debates in countries where they know next to...
IPA founder Dean Karlan writes in Scientific American on The Way to Help the Poor. He reviews what we've learned from the research, how he got interested in poverty reesarch, and the latest promising findings.
The New York Times business columnist Eduardo Porter reviews research dispelling negative impacts of welfare payments to the poor. IPA's work is among the studies showing positive effects of cash transfers.
The Economist reports on IPA's six-country study findings on helping the ultrapoor, those making under $1.25 a day. The six-pronged approach showed strong returns in gains for the participants, even a year after the program ended. The story also describes IPA's fndings from Uganda, on a project that helped women earn a living in the post-conflict context.