Recently, Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, appointed a cabinet that is 50% female. Explaining the choice, Trudeau stated that it was important “to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada” – and “because it’s 2015.” The announcement has been greeted with considerable backlash in the press, with some news outlets going as far as to imply that promoting diversity is not good for governance. This view implies an either or – that appointing women and incorporating gender balance, while good for the country’s diversity, would undermine the quality...
Burkina's Information Agency interviews Estelle Plat, IPA Country Director Burkina Faso and Mali. She explained IPA’s findings that simply changing the timing of when farmers are offered the opportunity to buy seeds and fertilizer can make a difference in whether they do: "If we approach producers when they have liquidity in hand [right after the previous harvest], they are able to pay for the inputs and invest them. It has a lot more impact than the subsidized prices." The findings point to the need for all actors in the sector - producers, NGOs, Government - to work together in order to...
NPR's Goats and Soda section has a feature about No Lean Season—a program that offers small, low-interest cash loans for transportation costs to help members of rural poor households get from their farms to cities to find their own temporary employment during the agricultural lean season. In the feature, researcher Mushfiq Mobarak discusses his inspiration for studying the idea and the process that has led to the program's expansion since IPA initially tested the idea. This year, GiveWell added No Lean Season to their list of top charities.
In the Christian Science Monitor, Daniel Grossman explores strategies scientists are pursuing to prevent deforestation and preserve forests' natural ability to sequester carbon and slow the effects of climate change. Grossman interviews Seema Jayachandran about study with IPA showing that paying landowners in Uganda not to cut down endangered trees on their land reduced deforestation.
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.
NPR's Planet Money talks with IPA's Lindsey Shaughnessy, and researchers Dean Karlan and Chris Udry of Yale about IPA's research in Ghana uncovering why farmers don't invest more in their field. Here's the full episode "The Risk Farmers" and the shorter version from Morning Edition
Fast Company discusses the findings from our study in Uganda on using cash transfers to preserve carbon-absorbing trees. Read more in the story "Trees Stop Climate Change—Can We Pay People To Stop Cutting Them Down?"
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...
The Washington Post reports on our study in Uganda, testing the effectiveness of paying landowners not to cut down trees. Read more in the article, "A cheap, simple experiment just found a very effective way to slow deforestation."
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...
Burkina Faso's Tribune profiles PI Lori Beaman and the role of randomized controlled trials in development using the project Agricultural Microfinance in Mali as an example.
In the New York Times, IPA researchers Rachel Glennerster and Tavneet Suri of MIT, and Herbert M'Cleod of the International Growth Centre write about the critical role of good data in fighting Ebola. They compare the numbers found by IPA and other researchers with the misinformaiton often repeated by government officials or media. Glennerster adds a piece cut from the op-ed on her blog, about the agriculture crisis that wasn't, where IPA's data showed food price stability, in contrast with popular reports.
Malawi’s Business Times features IPA Researcher Jessica Goldberg, of the University of Maryland, and Chief Program Officer Jessica Kiessel, from a recent IPA conference on achieving better banking in Malawi. The article describes an IPA study conducted by Goldberg, along with Xavier Giné and Dean Yang designed to encourage farmers to save more of their harvest profits for the next planting. The project, described here, found that offering direct deposits, with sales profits to be automatically deposited in bank accounts significantly increased how much farmers saved, and subsequent...
Two IPA projects examining agriculture in Ghana are featured in a recent article from Development News Africa. Find more information about the completed project here.