Not Your Father’s Aid Agency – “The Lab” [Part 3]

This is the third, and final, post in a series about my experience working in the Global Development Lab. Read part 1 and part 2 here. This final post will highlight the Lab’s organizational structure and their commitment to collaboration. USAID is, plain and simple, part of a bureaucracy. This is due to a lot of…

Not Your Father’s Aid Agency – “The Lab” [Part 2]

This is the second in a series of posts about my experience at the U.S. Global Development Lab. Read part 1 here. This second post highlights the Lab’s commitment to impact and evidence. I’ve written before that the lack of a reliable and rigorous evidence base is largely to blame for the observation that spending on…

Not Your Father’s Aid Agency – “The Lab” [Part 1]

I’ve been spending this summer at USAID in their newest bureau the U.S. Global Development Lab. It has been an interesting, enlightening, and inspiring experience so far; and so, I’ll be sharing a little bit about “The Lab” over the next week or so in a series of posts. This first post highlights the Lab’s…

Towards a Psychology of Poverty Traps

One concern that comes with considering depression or aspirational thinking as poverty trap mechanisms is the possibility this opens up for one to blame the poor for the situations in which they find themselves; i.e. it is tempting to shift from considering the poor as trapped by outside constraints (such as market failures) to considering…

Links I Like [6.15]

Zombie facts in development that just don’t die – “70% of people living in poverty are women” The problem with one of the most popular assumptions about the poor Does Truth & Reconciliation Work? Have RCTs Taken Over Development Economics? More than 100 Nobel Laureates take on Greenpeace over GMO opposition The Bad [Theology] of…

Refugees: An Opportunity, Not a Burden

It is World Refugee Day and I’d like to highlight some additional insights from research published since my post last fall. Philippe Legrain, founder of the Open Political Economy Network and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, recently wrote a paper with an important key finding: “Investing one euro in welcoming refugees can…