mali_microfinance.jpg
CREDIT: 
Camille Boudot & Andre Butler
Pascaline Dupas, Jonathan Robinson
December 31, 2009

Nice article today by Kristof in the New York Times.  It highlights an IPA project by Dupas and Robinson, which we are now working to replicate on a much larger scale in four locations, and also discusses at length the savings-led-microfinance, which IPA is busy evaluating also in four locations (Mali, Ghana, Uganda and Malawi).  Needless to say, I couldn't agree more that savings-led approaches hold a lot of promise.  Of course, that is in theory, and now we need to see the data to find out the answer.  Stay tuned (patiently please!).

Media Coverage
December 24, 2009

Nicholas Kristof names Deworm the World, an initiative in which IPA is a prominent partner, as a great idea for a charitable holiday gift.

Media Coverage
November 30, 2009

Profiles the research and results of IPA Research Affiliates and the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, discussing results from work by Abhijit Banerjee, Rachel Glennerster, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel, and Karthik Muralidharan.

Media Coverage
November 20, 2009

Nicholas Kristof mentions the effectiveness of deworming, based on a study by IPA Research Affiliates, in a discussion of changing attitudes towards foreign aid. 

"Take education. Given the problems with school-building programs, donors have turned to other strategies to increase the number of students, and these are often much more cost-effective: (1) Deworm children. This costs about 50 cents per child per year and reduces absenteeism from anemia, sickness and malnutrition. A Kenya study found, in effect, that it is only one twenty-fifth as expensive to increase school attendance...

effective_intervention.jpg
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,

“In the face of particularly senseless uses of foreign assistance, aid workers sometimes say 'it would have been better to drop the money out of a helicopter' to convey how bad programs waste money.”

The helicopter analogy itself might come off as a rather flippant way to...

technology_adoption.jpg
CREDIT: 
Nolwenn Gontard
Leigh Linden, Edward Miguel, Michael Kremer, Esther Duflo, Rema Hanna
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 that fail to recognize this are often just distracting.   Some of the more interesting (and no less heated) debates are waged once a specific sector of focus or growth constraint has been identified.

For example, once we have decided that education is crucial, how do we act upon this decision? Should we hire more teachers? Are extra...

Media Coverage
August 20, 2009

This article on fighting poverty by improving the situation of women in the developing world mentions IPA Research Affiliate Michael Kremer's work in Kenya, and also quotes Research Affiliate Esther Duflo. 

"...SO WHAT WOULD an agenda for fighting poverty through helping women look like? You might begin with the education of girls — which doesn’t just mean building schools. There are other innovative means at our disposal. A study in Kenya by Michael Kremer, a Harvard economist, examined six different approaches to improving educational performance, from providing free textbooks to...

Announcement
June 29, 2009

Google announces its first major initiative in Uganda, which makes available a suite of cell phone applications--including services to offer health and agriculture tips and a platform that helps buyers and sellers connect to one another--designed to serve the needs of the poor and increase access to information and communications technology. Innovations for Poverty Action will conduct an accompanying social impact assessment to evaluate the outcomes of the project.

mother_child.jpg
CREDIT: 
Thomas Chupein
Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Rita Hamad
April 20, 2009

This month's Atlantic Monthly has a controversial article about breastfeeding, specifically making arguments against breastfeeding.  The arguments are of two types.  One is social and normative, and the other is on the evidence.  My thoughts, naturally, are on the evidence.  The journalist makes a classic error in understanding and interpreting "treatment effects."  Here is a clip:

"Both the Kramer study and the sibling study did turn up one interesting finding: a bump in “cognitive ability” among breast-fed children. But intelligence is tricky to measure, because it’s subjective...

the_hugner_proejct.jpg
CREDIT: 
Angela Ambroz
Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry
April 10, 2009

We were pleased to see Bill Easterly highlight The Hunger Project, a partner of our's in Ghana, on his blog, Aid Watch.  In fact, it wasn't necessary for skepticism to take a full day off because there is a rigorous evaluation of the project underway.  With funding from the Robertson Foundation, researchers at Yale, Berkeley and IPA have just begun a study of the project's impact on the communities in Eastern Ghana.  

The interesting thing about this project is the impressive committment of THP to not only the mission of...

Media Coverage
March 05, 2009

IPA partners with a rural bank in Agusan del Norte Philippines have started a savings program to help smokers kick the habit by encouraging smokers to deposit their would be cigarette money into a savings account instead.

Media Coverage
November 17, 2008

Thomas Bossuroy and Clara Delavallade describe how school-based deworming programs dramatically improve child health and education at a low cost.

Media Coverage
May 21, 2008

Abhijit Banerjee said the state of maternal and child health in the country is worse than that in sub-Saharan Africa.

Related Projects:
Healthcare and Health Status in India

Media Coverage
March 10, 2008

Cessation of smoking research conducted in the Philippines by Xavier Gine, Dean Karlan and Jon Zinman discussed in the NYTimes Freakonomics blog.

Related Projects:
The Impact of CARES Commitment Savings for Smoking Cessation in the Philippines

Media Coverage
August 06, 2006

At a time when millions of people each year are still being infected with the virus that causes AIDS, particularly in Africa, a rigorous new study has identified several simple, inexpensive methods that helped reduce the spread of the disease among Kenyan teenagers, especially girls.

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