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Direct local democracy in Indonesia
CREDIT: 
Ben Olken
Kartik Akileswaran
November 09, 2009
One of my new favorite development blogs, Aid Thoughts, had an interesting post recently about what should succeed the Millenium Development Goals once they reach their deadline in 2015.  I was excited to see Matt, the blogger, focus on how to...
Smiling_Capital_Drop.jpg
Ryan Knight
November 09, 2009
In the field experiment world, we have a strange name for money grants. We call them "capital drops" - a name that invokes food aid being dropped by air in a relief zone, only we deliver cash instead of food, travel in minibuses instead of...
esther_duflo_award.jpg
Kerry Brennan
November 02, 2009
Reading the complex theories and equations in many academic papers often leaves me wondering, "Wow, who wrote this stuff?"  It's easy to forget that academic economists don't eat math for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or run regressions on vacation...
unbanked.jpg
CREDIT: 
Will Boase
Caitlin Weaver
November 02, 2009
FAI just published a new paper that reveals that 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have a savings or credit account with either a traditional (regulated bank) or alternative financial institution (such as a microfinance institution). And nearly 90...
candy.jpg
CREDIT: 
Karen Macours
Martin Rotemberg
October 30, 2009
It’s remarkably hard to survey people if they have little children around - kids want complete attention. This past week I brought a few big bags of candy to hand out so that the kids would be happy while I was surveying. It was cheap &...
Meredith Startz
October 26, 2009
IPA and like-minded organizations are all about generating evidence on what works in the fight against poverty, so that those who direct funding and design policies and programs can make better-informed decisions. When we think about our audience,...
life_expectancy.jpg
CREDIT: 
Abhijit Banerjee
Meredith Startz
October 22, 2009
That's the slogan of Hans Rosling, who runs the website Gapminder.org. I hope you've seen and made use of Gapminder before -- if not, please go rectify the situation immediately. In essence, it's a free online tool for helping people visualize data...
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Caitlin Weaver
October 19, 2009
It’s been great to see business school faculty take an interest in microfinance.  Gabriel Natividad of the strategy group at the Stern School of Business at NYU just published an interesting new paper that links asymmetric information, third-party...
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Abby Gray
October 16, 2009
Meet Jacques.  He’s the Kiva Coordinator at WAGES, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Togo, West Africa.  Every day, a loan officer hand-delivers a stack of borrower information forms and a USB chip full of photos.  Jacques has trained the...
evidence.jpg
CREDIT: 
Will Boase
Meredith Startz
October 14, 2009
In round two of Lisbeth Schorr versus evidence-based policy (see round 1 here), she writes in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that, If government agencies and private grant makers, afraid of being considered not rigorous, unscientific, or wasteful,...
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Kerry Brennan
October 12, 2009
Because of the especially sensitive nature of doing research with human subjects, all of IPA's projects must be approved by an Internal Review Board.  The board makes recommendations for how to ensure that the project environment is as respectful as...
effective_intervention.jpg
Delia Welsh
October 09, 2009
A recent Aid Watch blog post from guest blogger, Franck Wiebe (who also happens to be my former boss,) gives a very clear explanation why the “helicopter test” makes a lot of sense in weighing which assistance programs to fund.  He writes,
Meredith Startz
September 30, 2009
The Obama administration – almost as geeked-out a bunch as us – is on board with rigorous evaluation of social policy. Peter Orzag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, recently wrote that,
piggy_bank.jpg
CREDIT: 
Reinhard Schiel
Meredith Startz
September 28, 2009
Everywhere in the world, people both rich and poor struggle to save and invest for tomorrow rather than splurging on the things they want today. From text messaging reminders, to providing piggy banks, to giving away little motivational presents,...
farmer.jpg
CREDIT: 
Camille Boudot
Kerry Brennan
September 17, 2009
We just sent out our latest IPA newsletter (sign up to receive the next one here), which focuses on agriculture in the developing world.  While working on some of the newsletter content, I was reminded of an online game that a friend of mine...
technology_adoption.jpg
CREDIT: 
Nolwenn Gontard
Kerry Brennan
September 11, 2009
It is a difficult and not particularly fruitful debate when different sectors important to economic development are pitted against one another in the quest for donor attention. Lasting development progress usually encompasses many areas, and debates...
garlic.jpg
CREDIT: 
Abhijit Banerjee
Kartik Akileswaran
September 09, 2009
I recently returned from a 3-week trip to Cusco, Peru to help out my fellow Project Associate who is based there. I live in Lima, so the trip to Cusco, a sizeable city in its own right but quite distinct from Lima's hustle and bustle, was a welcome...
taxi_cabs.jpg
CREDIT: 
Andreas Tiemann
Martin Rotemberg
September 09, 2009
What's the cost of a fair price? IPA's President, Dean Karlan, recently came to La Paz for a jam-packed day of meeting with all of our partners. Of course, at above 12,000 feet, La Paz isn't a good place to arrive just in time for an exhausting day...
tree_village.jpg
Ryan Knight
August 31, 2009
One of the hardest things about doing research on poverty can be finding people for follow-up visits, especially in urban areas like Accra, Ghana, where I work. As a rule Accra has no helpful signs, street names, or addresses. Directions are based...
August 31, 2009
Microfinance institutions are often assumed to be socially oriented, but as the industry expands and more institutions enter, it becomes increasingly important to verify these claims.  Donors and social investors should require more than a mission...

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