Poor households in developing countries face large and varied risks. Many agriculture-dependent households, for example, are at risk of drought- or flood-induced crop failures or livestock deaths. The death of a family member often implies having to fund expensive burial ceremonies, and if the deceased was the household’s primary earner, replacing her/his stream of income is an even bigger problem.
I am currently in Malawi rolling out a firm survey with my colleagues Francisco Campos and Manuela Bucciarelli. As we’ve gone through the enumerator selection and training this week and a pre-test of the survey, a number of observations have come up – some related to firm surveys in particular, some more general. In no particular order:
The World Bank’s Financial Access Database, which has quite recent representative data for most countries in the world, indicates that in Africa, for instance, only about a quarter of the population has a bank account. And less of them use it.
Last week I blogged about a paper that David wrote with Chris Woodruff which takes stock of the existing evidence on the impact of business trainings. The bottom line was that we still don’t know much. Part of the reason is that these types of evaluations are not straightforward to do – they have some pitfalls that you don’t always find in your garden variety impact evaluation. So t
What do we really know about how to build business capacity? A nice new paper by David McKenzie and Chris Woodruff takes a look at the evidence on business training programs – one of the more common tools used to build up small and medium enterprises. They do some work to make the papers somewhat comparable and this helps us to add up the totality of the lessons. What’s more, as David and Chris go through the evidence, they come up with a lot of interestin