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  • Reply to: Poverty Reduction: Sorting Through the Hype   2 days 10 hours ago

    I was curious, did you consider putting the $2604 in an annuity that pays out at a regular interval over their lifetime as a counterfactual? The NPV is mathematically equivalent to comparing to a one time distribution like GiveDirectly, but maybe the distribution of the money over time would have more permanent mental health/consumption benefits?

  • Reply to: Getting beyond the mirage of external validity   2 days 17 hours ago

    Great article, thank you! I will piggyback to ask a related question: are there any evaluations (randomized or otherwise) of *modern* at-scale expansions of deworming?

  • Reply to: Getting beyond the mirage of external validity   4 days 9 hours ago

    Thanks Markus and Eliana, you make a very good point about adaptive replication. Are there any prestigious journals that accept replication studies? Also, are there any studies that use observational data for interventions at scale to test if the effects from a pilot persist?

  • Reply to: Poverty Reduction: Sorting Through the Hype   5 days 14 hours ago

    Hi, a clarification: the costs you mention are in PPP, which helps for comparison across countries. The USD costs (i.e., what was actually spent by the programs) were much lower, from $330 to $2604 depending on the site. So, not a cheap program but much more scalable than the numbers you quote. We are very interested in finding ways to get those costs down further.

  • Reply to: Poverty Reduction: Sorting Through the Hype   6 days 58 min ago

    Thank you for this excellent summary of an excellent article. I commend the authors on such a well done paper!

    To me the most interesting aspect was your comment on the heterogeneity of effects--ranging from a cost/benefit of +433% to -198%. Indeed it shouldn't be a surprise that both context and implementation quality matter. And, yes, breaking up the "black box" and understanding which aspects of TUP are more cost-effective (and which are less) is vital. Unfortunately, this is hard to do from the capitals of Abuja and Delhi, let alone from DC or London. How can we create the right structural incentives that encourage an organic discovery process and keep a focus on high-quality implementation?

    Results-based financing (RBF) may be one such approach to sustaining impact at scale for TUP. In a results-based approach, governments set the goalposts (improve income, employment, etc.) and providers have the flexibility to adapt the program based on changing context to get to the goal the best way possible. In some contexts that may mean additional coaching, in other contexts that may mean more or different asset transfers. In all cases, the focus is kept on the results, rather than the receipts (following a pre-defined process). RBF has already been used across a variety of countries in health and has demonstrated promising results (1, 2). Could scaling TUP be a new area for trialing results-based approaches?

    Many questions would need to be answered (for example, which results would be paid for and how would they be measured?) and we should be cautious about both the promise as well as the risks. However, the importance of the problem, the variation in effect sizes across various contexts and the promise of existing RBF approaches all suggest that that these questions are questions well worth pursuing.

    All the best,
    Michael
    Instiglio