June 30 marks the end of the fiscal year at the World Bank, and an annual reminder of the stark irony of working in a bank that does not let you save – money is allocated to a particular fiscal year, and if not spent during this time, disappears into a vortex where it is reallocated elsewhere in the institution. This is a problem that is not unique to the World Bank - last week’s Science news had an article reporting on the findings of a blue-ribbon panel of business leaders, u
· In case you missed, the IDB authors of the one laptop per child evaluation post a response to Berk’s post on the IDB Development that works blog. They discuss the context in which their evaluation was done, and the possible government rationale for investing in OLPC in Peru.
While some of us get to conduct individually randomized trials, I’d say that cluster randomized trials are pretty much the norm in field experiments in economics. Add to that the increase in the level of ambition we recently acquired to have interventions with multiple treatment arms (rather than one treatment and one control group) and mix it with a pinch of logistical and budgetary constraints, we have a non-negligible number of trials with small numbers of clusters (schools, clinics, villages, etc.).
Yesterday, David argued that “the important work on trying to raise the incomes and status of women around the world doesn’t continue to come in part by neglecting the important role you [dads] play.” While I don’t think the world of development programs is in any remote danger of ignoring men in favor of women, I do think we aren’t paying enough attention to how men and women interact, and what that means for how programs work (e.g. to increase the welfare of all).
It’s Father’s Day here in America (although not in much of the rest of the World, see this cool interactive map).
· How not to response to evaluations – The Guardian discusses the response to an evaluation the UK government did of a mandatory work scheme, which required jobseekers to do mandatory unpaid work for 30 hours per week in order to continue getting a jobseeker’s allowance.
Indoor smoke from cooking on an open fire has long been recognized as a major cause of ill health, especially for women and young children (those either most vulnerable or most likely to be exposed). Improved cooking stoves represent the hopes of development professionals in that their efficient design and vented smoke should improve health, lower mortality, and reduce fuel use.
This post is coauthored with Francisco Campos
When we talk about growth, we typically focus on growth rates, and so if we were to look at which countries had the greatest percentage increase in GDP per capita over the last decade (at constant international prices according to the World Development Indicators), we would get a table like this: