Tag Archives: microfinance

Randomized Control Trials Feed Our Fetish for Single-Focus Interventions

I am Ed Gaible of Natoma Group and I am here to report that RCT fetishism is alive and well in development. Sometime in the early part of this millennium, Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) as support for decision making began their migration from health-care, among other fields, to the field of development. Early and influential proponents, such as Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Dean Karlan, associated with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), advocated widespread-but-appropriate use of RCTs to guide decisions about issues that included incentives for teachers, provision of mosquito nets, appropriate cropping methods and so on. RCTs, in their view and in mine, can help development practitioners span the yawning gap between intention—the outcomes that we intend to achieve—and impact—what our actions in support of those intentions make happen. That gap was, and perhaps still is, yawning

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#APHA15, Day Four: Wednesday is for Breakfast, Presentations, Moderating, and Final Thoughts

The final day of the conference is normally a pretty relaxed. Section members have typically eaten a good meal (and had a good laugh) at the Awards Dinner and social, the Governing Council has convened to pass policies and elect APHA presidential and executive board candidates, and they have had plenty of time to scope out the expo for the best SWAG. For me, however, this was not the case: the highlight of my Annual Meeting experience was presenting my very first abstract on Mandatory HIV Testing in the Republic of Korea at the International Health and Human Rights session. Global Health Leaders Breakfast My last day began early with the Global Health Leaders Breakfast hosted by APHA and coordinated by Vina HuLamm, our Global Health Manager on APHA staff.

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We Are Not Alone: Silicon Valley is Donor Driven Development Too

WeWork, the hot co-working space that features exposed brick, shiny desks, and free beer, has two locations in my office building. Both are beautiful and I only wish my offices looked the same. However, as Nitasha Tiku points out in her amazing BuzzFeed News article WeWork Used These Documents To Convince Investors It’s Worth Billions, all is not so shiny when you look at WeWork’s financials. Essentially, WeWork has used almost-fanciful numbers to convince Silicon Valley investors to value it as a “decacorn” – a start-up valued at more than $10 billion.

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Family and community driven response to intimate partner violence in post-conflict settings

Publication date: Available online 13 October 2015 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Anjalee Kohli, Nancy Perrin, Remy Mitima Mpanano, Luhazi Banywesize, Alfred Bacikenge Mirindi, Jean Heri Banywesize, Clovis Murhula Mitima, Arsène Kajabika Binkurhorhwa, Nadine Mwinja Bufole, Nancy Glass This study explores risk factors, individual and family consequences and community-driven responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) in post-conflict eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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Can aid agencies help systems fix themselves?

This essay first appeared on Duncan Green’s blog, From Poverty to Power. It was a follow up to a lecture on complexity and development which I gave to Duncan’s international development course at the LSE. Duncan wanted me to explore the “so what?” for development agencies in more detail, so here are my thoughts. You can read comments and discussion about this essay on FP2P. If economic development is a property of a complex adaptive system, as I’ve argued elsewhere, then what, if anything, can development agencies and NGOs do to accelerate it

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Tech is the easy part – don’t forget ‘peopleware’

There’s a popular saying amongst the tech and development crowd that 10% of an ICT4D initiative is the tech and the rest is…. well, the rest. I’ve recently heard a modified version that says 5% is the idea and 10% is the business model, and the other 85% is…. well, the rest. The ‘rest’ is mostly made up of people, culture, context and the stuff of anthropologists.

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Innovation out of necessity is alive and well

(This article first appeared on the Virgin website as part of their special feature on innovation and disruption. The original post can be read here). While much of the West debates the pros, cons, merits and current state of technological innovation, innovators in the developing world just get on with it. And they’ve never been so busy. Innovation out of necessity is alive and well, and on the rise, according to Ashoka Fellow, Ken Banks

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Whither Cash Transfers? A discussion with the experts

This is a cross-post from Tom Murphy, editor of the aid blog A View From the Cave. The original article can be found on Humanosphere. The post summarizes discussions at our November 21st New York City Technology Salon: Are Mobile Money Cash Grants the Future of Development?  If you’d like to join us for future Salons, sign up here. by Tom Murphy Decades ago, some of the biggest NGOs simply gave away money to individuals in communities.

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Microfinance: Empowering or exploiting the poor?

We’ve all heard about microfinance, the practice of giving small loans to the poor to boost their small businesses. Muhammed Yunus, widely considered the godfather of microfinance, won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago. But since then, microfinance has been gaining more and louder critics who see the institution as more exploitive, trapping … Continue reading →

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I’m Going to Gates

Twenty-five years ago today, I walked into Building 1 of the Microsoft Corporation’s wooded campus in Redmond, WA, and reported for work as a programming intern. I had a pretty good time that summer. What I remember most is wondering whether I should buy a bit of stock in the company—and then spending all my earnings on long-distance calls to my new girlfriend. In retrospect, MSFT would have been a fantastic investment; my girlfriend was an even better one.

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Friday links June 21: measuring the cost of microfinance, cost-ineffective…

On the FAI blog, Jonathan Morduch discusses the problems of trying to measure the cost of microfinance and why the profession underfocuses on costs – “if you’re not the kind of person who gets pleasure from filling out income tax forms, you’re probably not the kind of person who enjoys calculating microfinance subsidies”.

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How did the G-8 do on financial secrecy and tax?

This joint post with Alex Cobham first appeared on Views from the Center. “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”  Winston Churchill, November 1942 The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold.

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The G-8: The End of the Beginning on Tackling Financial Secrecy

This is a joint post with Owen Barder. “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill, November 1942 The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold.

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Jordan: SAP HCM/PY ABAP Analyst Programmer, Jordan (source: Relief Web)

Organization: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Jordan Closing date: 13 Jun 2013 TERMS OF REFERENCE UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is the largest UN operation in the Middle East with more than 30,000 staff.

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