Reflections on the Use of Randomized Control Trials in Development

By Katie Martin
posted on February 9, 2014 in

Proponents of Randomized Control Trials (RCTs), like The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT and Yale Economics Professor Dean Karlan of Innovations for Poverty Action, are working to bring RCTs to the forefront of the international development discourse.


Does Aid Work? Is That the Right Question?

By Jonathan Cali
posted on February 9, 2014 in

With traditional donor countries in North America and Western Europe facing budget constraints, the debate over the effectiveness of aid is likely to continue. Before this issue is debated, practitioners and academics must first establish what the purpose of aid is, how the impact of aid and international development organizations should be evaluated, and what types and amounts of assistance are most beneficial in each circumstance.


Mobile Money in Afghanistan -- An Uphill Battle

By Adam Brown
posted on January 29, 2014 in , ,

Since 2008, the Afghan mobile phone provider, Roshan, has worked to bring mobile money services to Afghanistan.  With the support of USAID, all four of Afghanistan's major mobile phone providers are currently developing mobile money capabilities.  The highly successful rollout of Kenya's mobile money and banking service, M-Pesa, has spurred a flurry of similar startup efforts – over


Bottom-Up Design: Recovering from Disaster in Bangladesh

By Bryant Renaud
posted on November 10, 2013 in ,

Minhaj Chowdhury is a co-founder of Drinkwell, an organization with the noble goal of eliminating arsenic poisoning in rural Bangladesh. High levels of arsenic in water caused the “largest mass poisoning in history” for more than thirty years in the rural villages of Bangladesh.  Minhaj’s organization is trying to stop the suffering. On October 29th, he spoke to the International Development Discussion Group about his successes and failures in undertaking this ambitious project.


World Bank Youth Summit 2013: Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030

By Irina Tsukerman
posted on November 7, 2013 in ,

World Bank Summit 2013 brought together promising young entrepreneurs from all over the world to engage in a conversation about battling youth unemployment, ending world poverty, and making the world a better place by putting creativity, passion, and enthusiasm into action. Several specific factors differentiated this summit from similar solution-oriented gatherings. First, it was a good attempt to bring young activists and entrepreneurs and large private institutions together.


Ongoing Conflict and Prospects for Development in Burma

By Claire Balani
posted on October 14, 2013 in ,

Thoughts from the Second International Development Discussion Group Meeting