Laura Starita
October 13, 2010
  One of the reasons that debates about microfinance, IPOs and impact generate lots of discussion and very little insight is that investors don’t necessarily know enough about what MFIs do from the inside: What are their lending practices? How do...
October 12, 2010
IPA has been hard at work with preparations for the launch of the Proven Impact Initiative, an agenda designed to promote, finance, strengthen, and expand anti-poverty ideas that have been proven to work through rigorous experimentation.   Louis...
October 12, 2010
As we prepare for our upcoming Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference that will take place on October 21-23 in New York City, we are looking back to the last time we drew together so many of our best minds in microfinance in one place. In...
Alex Kobishyn
October 05, 2010
A couple of articles have got me thinking lately; a recent USIP report "Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics" (authored by Sean Aday, Henry Farrel, Marc Lynch, John Sides, John Kelly and Ethan Zuckerman), and a New Yorker article by...
Lee Crawfurd
October 01, 2010
In her TED Talk earlier this year Esther Duflo compared much of modern aid to medieval medicine.  "The thing is, if we don't know whether we are doing any good, we are not any better than the Medieval doctors and their leeches. Sometimes the patient...
Mike Ingram
September 28, 2010
On September 17th and 18th, Innovations for Poverty Action hosted the kick-off meeting for the new Small & Medium Enterprise Initiative.  The meeting provided an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to come together...
September 28, 2010
Featured post from Daniel Katz's blog (IPA Project Associate in Uganda)   
Lee Crawfurd
September 27, 2010
Here's some of our favorite bits from around the interwebs: Obviously a highlight was Esther Duflo’s quote on the lack of accountability for the goals:  “Nobody is going to come from Mars and say, ‘You didn’t reach the goals, so we will invade’ —...
Emily Oriel Lowe
Dean Karlan
September 24, 2010
  Many people who are dissatisfied with formal healthcare in the US and want more personalisation and attention, turn to a source of alternative medicine such as homeopathy. Similarly in developing countries, people visit traditional doctors because...
Lee Crawfurd
September 22, 2010
Aid transparency is a hot topic at the moment. Donors met in Paris in July to discuss the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), with many agreeing to publish data in a more timely manner, in open, easily comparable formats.
Lee Crawfurd
September 16, 2010
"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up an estimated 90 percent of businesses and over 50 percent of employment worldwide" (IFC). A key issue then for development and cutting poverty is figuring out ways for these small firms to increase their...
Dean Karlan
September 15, 2010
A new xkcd on RCTs to lighten the day: For those not already familiar with perhaps the most perfect IPA cartoon ever: here is a repeat of an earlier xkcd:   Hat tip for the new one: Karen Levy
Mike Goodwin
Lee Crawfurd
September 10, 2010
From Ghana, Suvojit Chattopadhyay writes: ---
Lee Crawfurd
August 20, 2010
Chris Blattman notes that this Summer’s edition of the Journal of Economic Perspectives is focused on development economics. What he doesn’t note is that the articles are heavily focused upon the role of randomized controlled trials within...
Lee Crawfurd
August 05, 2010
Alanna Sheikh started a bit of a debate last week on the limitations of impact evaluations. She cites Andrew Natsios (a former USAID administrator)
Nathanael Goldberg
August 04, 2010
At IPA we often sell organizations on the idea of doing randomized testing by pointing out that corporations do it all the time, and they wouldn't pay for the evaluations if it weren't useful to them.  In the Washington Post today Steven Pearlstein...
Rachel Strohm
Rohit Naimpally
July 27, 2010
Over at the Financial Access Initiative, Jonathan Bauchet has an interesting post up on a very different kind of microfinance called SafeSave. Here’s Bauchet:
Nathanael Goldberg
July 22, 2010
Boing Boing covers the release of Dan Lockton's Design with Intent Toolkit: 101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design.  It's not about development per se, but the the applications to good product design and marketing are limitless and...
Rohit Naimpally
July 15, 2010
As a quick follow-up to Meredith's post, I wanted to add a few additional thoughts.
Thomas Chupein
Meredith Startz
July 13, 2010
A few days ago, Bill Easterly argued on Aidwatch that development comes not from solutions, but from functional problem-solving systems that motivate and facilitate solutions. In many ways, this is an argument for bottom-up, decentralized...