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Collecting survey data via mobile phone in Southern Sudan

Gabriel Demombynes's picture

We’re in the middle of an unusual data collection exercise, which we’ve called the Southern Sudan Experimental Phone Survey (SSEPS). To get a sense of how the survey works, see this photo essay. The work has been conducted in part with funds from the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

In November, in conjunction with the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation, we delivered mobile phones to 1000 households in the 10 state capitals of Southern Sudan. Each month starting last December, Sudanese interviewers from a call center in Nairobi have phoned respondents on those phones to collect information on their economic situation, security, outlook, and other topics.

Cameroun: le moment est-il arrivé pour le lion de se réveiller?

Raju Jan Singh's picture

La croissance économique au Cameroun s’est inscrite en 2010 à 3%, poussée par les activités non-pétrolières qui ont connu une expansion de près de 4% (particulièrement les cultures vivrières, la construction, les transports, et les télécommunications). Cette croissance demeure toutefois insuffisante pour réduire la pauvreté d’une façon durable. Sur sa trajectoire actuelle, le Cameroun ne pourra probablement pas atteindre la plupart des Objectifs de Développement du Millénaire.

Le Cameroun est pourtant riche en pétrole, bois précieux, et produits agricoles (café, coton, cacao). Les ressources inexploitées incluent le gaz naturel, la bauxite, les diamants, l’or, le fer et le cobalt. Pourquoi le pays ne connaît-il pas une croissance économique plus grande?

La réponse est qu’une infrastructure limitée, un cadre des affaires défavorables, et une gouvernance faible entravent les activités économiques au Cameroun.

Cameroon: Time for the Lion to Wake up?

Raju Jan Singh's picture

Cameroon’s GDP growth in 2010 is estimated to have reached 3 percent on the back of stronger non-oil activities, which expanded by about 4 percent (particularly food crops, forestry, construction, transport, and telecoms).  This growth, however, remains too slow to reduce poverty in a sustainable manner. On its current trajectory, Cameroon is not likely to meet most Millennium Development Goals.

Yet, Cameroon is endowed with oil, high value timber, and agricultural products (coffee, cotton, cocoa). Untapped resources include natural gas, bauxite, diamonds, gold, iron, and cobalt. Why isn’t it growing faster?

As explained in the latest Cameroon Economic Update, the answer is that poor infrastructure, an unfavorable business environment, and weak governance hamper economic activity in Cameroon.

Millennium Villages Project continues to systematically overstate its effects

Gabriel Demombynes's picture

by Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is an experimental anti-poverty interventionin villages across Africa. In October, we released evidence that the Project’s official publications were overstating its real effects, and we offered suggestions on improving its impact evaluation. On Tuesday the MVP, whose leadership and staff are aware of our work, continued to greatly overstate its impact.

Seven steps to structural transformation

Shanta Devarajan's picture














My colleagues Justin Lin and Celestin Monga have proposed a six-step plan for identifying industries that could help developing countries industrialize. 

The first step in the plan is to find countries that have a per-capita income that is roughly double yours and have a similar endowment, and observe what they are producing.  These industries would then serve as the basis for possible government intervention to either protect or create, depending on the country’s situation.

However, the six-step plan seems to gloss over the fact that countries, even seemingly successful ones, produce certain goods for political rather than economic reasons.