The burden of the gift of aid

The splendor of Lake Atitlán is unreal. No water should be so blue, no sky so clear, no hills so lush. The lake is a Read More

Is microinsurance really revolutionary?

The New York Times this week profiled “microinsurance”– local health insurance schemes for the poor and sick–which the Times characterized as a revolutionary new safety net system for the world’s poor. Read More

Could social impact bonds restore public health budgets?


The burden of the gift of aid

The splendor of Lake Atitlán is unreal. No water should be so blue, no sky so clear, no hills so lush. The lake is a Read More

All for One and One for All? Why Networks Don’t Prevent Poverty Traps: Guest post by Arun…

This is the fourth in our series of posts by PhD students on the job market this year. Giving livestock to poor households can increase their incomes substantially. This naturally raises the question: why were households not investing in such livestock before? One obvious answer is that they are poor – this means they can neither afford to invest themselves, nor get a loan from a bank (or microfinance organisation). But the puzzle is more subtle than that

CCTs for Pees: Cash Transfers Halloween Edition

Subsidies to increase utilization are used in all sorts of fields and I have read more than my fair share of CCT papers. However, until last week, I had not come across a scheme that paid people to purchase their urine. Given that I am traveling and the fact that I am missing Halloween, I thought I’d share (I hope it’s not TMI)… Here is the abstract of an article by Tilley and Günther (2016), published in Sustainability:“In the developing world, having access to a toilet does not necessarily imply use: infrequent or non-use limits the desired health outcomes of improved sanitation. We examine the sanitation situation in a rural part of South Africa where recipients of novel, waterless “urine-diverting dry toilets” are not regularly using them. In order to determine if small, conditional cash transfers (CCT) could motivate families to use their toilets more, we paid for urine via different incentive-based interventions: two were based on volumetric pricing and the third was a flat-rate payment (irrespective of volume)

Community Collaboration, Partnerships Important To Improving Women’s, Family Health

Devex: Opinion: It takes a community to keep a mother healthy Cassie Chandler, global manager for microfinance and health protection at Freedom from Hunger “How do you encourage women most in need — and often hardest to reach — to access appropriate pre and postnatal care? And how can you reach large numbers of women,…More

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia

Improved sanitation access is extremely low in rural Cambodia.

Pay-it-forward model shows potential for microfinance in developing nations

Ten years ago, microfinance was celebrated with the Nobel Peace Prize for its potential to break people out of poverty. Today, the microfinance industry has grown to hundreds of institutions serving more than 150 million borrowers in the developing world, but is widely criticized for exploiting the world’s poor and, ultimately, making poverty worse. The

How assets + training can transform the lives of ultra-poor women: new evidence from Bangladesh

People are often very rude about ‘big push’ approaches to development – the idea that you can kickstart a country (or a millennium village) by simultaneously shoving in piles of different projects, technical assistance and cash. The approach hasn’t got a great track record, but now a kind of micro Big Push, targeting the ‘ultra poor’ in a range of countries, is showing some really …

Does Financial Inclusion Exclude? Formal Savings Reduces Informal Risk-Sharing Among Women in…

This is the second in our series of posts by students on the job market this year.   In 2013 alone, donors pledged $31 billion to support financial inclusion programs—an attempt to deliver financial services to the 2 billion adults that do not have access to such services. In the past, microcredit and insurance programs received all of the attention, but improving the savings capacity of the poor and unbanked has recently drawn increasing attention as well. Access to a savings account has been shown to improve account holders’ overall financial situation and their ability to cope with shocks.

Exploring the association between women’s access to economic resources and intimate partner…

Publication date: December 2015 Source:Social Science & Medicine, Volume 146 Author(s): Seema Vyas, Henrica AFM.

The MDGs to SDGs trade off : What has been lost and gained for global equity?

Maja Pleic is a global health and global equity researcher and advocate. Maja holds an MA in Political Economy of International Development and a BA in International Relations and Economics, from the University of Toronto. Previously, she was Research Coordinator at HGEI before taking time off to focus on independent research in her home country of Croatia. Maja has undertaken research on issues of global equity ranging from: health system financing, universal health coverage, child labour, and employment elasticities in periods of growth.  Last fortnight, the international community gathered in New York for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly and set the post-2015 development agenda in the form of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets. These targets are successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000: the first global, time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty and inequity. The MDGs were composed of eight goals and 21 associated targets to be met by 2015.

Microfinance Has Potential To Increase Funding For Sanitation In Developing Countries

The Guardian: Can microfinance help boost sanitation coverage? Sophie Trémolet, water and sanitation economist, and Goufrane Mansour, water and sanitation specialist, both at Trémolet Consulting “…While microfinance is usually associated with income generation, rather than taps and toilets, growing evidence shows that it could be a solution for funding sanitation facilities in developing countries. ……More

Collaboration, Partnership Among Many Sectors Can Improve Health Access Worldwide

Huffington Post: Hurdling the Health Access Barrier Cassie Chandler, global manager of microfinance and health protection at Freedom from Hunger “…Whether in Asia, Latin America, or Africa, one of the most significant barriers to good health is being able to access health services in a timely manner. There are a variety of obstacles that contribute…More

Getting to know PSI’s market-based sanitation work in India: Part 1 – Beyond rocket science

It is remarkable that while India routinely launches satellites into space, half of its population (600 million) does not have access to a toilet. If the Indian state of Bihar were a country, it would have the 14th highest population in the world and yet only 18 percent of its households have a toilet. The post Getting to know PSI’s market-based sanitation work in India: Part 1 – Beyond rocket science appeared first on PSI Impact Blog.

What do we want? More evidence!

I wrote this originally for the Brookings blog.A results-oriented aid agenda for Africa has picked up steam in the past few years.Last year closed with excitement about cash transfers. Researchers in Western Kenya found that just giving people money was an effective form of assistance. As the MIT report notes, GiveDirectly recipients increased household asset holdings by 58 percent compared to the mean control group, and did not increase spending on tobacco or alcohol.Thus, the once cast-aside form of aid is making a comeback on the strength of evidence and research. GiveDirectly is only the tipping point for a new way of thinking about aid in Africa and elsewhere. An era of evidence-based aid is here

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