IPA’s weekly links

Guest Post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

Population per radiotherapy machine

  • Most of us hear about radiation for cancer treatment in the troika with surgery and chemotherapy, and hopefully don’t have to think too much about it, but it is critical for treating many kinds of cancers. It also requires more infrastructure than the other two (a multi-million dollar machine, a radiation-shielded room, and specially trained technical staff to safely operate, often under oversight of a nuclear regulator like the NRC in the US or IAEA).

With life expectancies increasing in low-income countries, most cancer cases are now in the developing world, but many health systems aren’t equipped for the increased burden. A Kenyan program, for example, is sending patients abroad to India and Turkey for radiation treatments.

Now Uganda’s only radiation therapy machine (donated 26 years ago) has broken. Uganda has over 20,000 cancer cases a year, and officials say they also have a plan to send patients out of the country for treatment – to Kenya.

  • An amazing data visualization of the amount of dialogue by men vs. women in Disney movies. The graphs transform as you scroll and are clickable. The surprise in there to me was that Frozen, about the relationship between two sisters, was still 57% male dialogue. (via Katherine Milkman)
  • Google calendar is integrating Dan Ariely’s nudge to help people complete long-term goals like learning a new language. It uses free space in your calendar to suggest devoting time to them.
  • Glewwe, Rutledge, and Wydick report on their evaluation of a child sponsorship program in several countries (10,144 adults, 1,860 of them sponsored as children by an NGO). It appears to have raised secondary school completion, and adult wages (for men) significantly, which they think happened by raising the aspirations of the kids who were sponsored.

My 5-year-old daughter came home from the school library with a book for kids on survey methods and how to present data. Maria Dieci from IPA Zambia’s office suggested there are economists who could benefit from it…

Survey Tips