IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

FoodDrop

  • ICYMI, there’s a famine affecting 20 million people across a number of countries. From the Guardian, here are some orgs helping (via Rachel Strohm, with the caveat that IPA doesn’t endorse any particular one).
  • Happy birthday to the great Development Impact Blog (one of their unsung accomplishments, often amazing discussions in the comments section).

HabitFormation

  • As shown in the figure above, most nudges for changing habits wear off pretty quickly, except for home energy conservation (last box), according to a new paper by Brandon, Ferraro, List, Metcalfe, Price & Rundhammer.
  • A new study finds in the U.S. 1 in 10 pregnant women with Zika have babies affected by the impacts. This is likely an underestimate, based on limited detection of impacts at birth.
    • Some scientists speculate that Brazilians experienced higher rates of microcephaly than Americans because of an interaction with dengue, which is closely related to Zika.
  • VOA reports a shift in Kenyan families’ strategies to cope with drought – rather than marrying daughters off early to get a dowry, a combination of lower value of cattle (because of their dying in the drought), and social safety net cash transfers from the government has led more families to send their daughters to school. (also via Rachel Strohm)
  • There’s finally an (apparently) safe and effective male injectable contraceptive that’s completely reversible, but it’s having a harder time finding it’s way to market than you might think. (h/t Osman Siddiqi)
  • Think your students are annoying arguing about grades? A University of Texas government student got a “C” on a paper about constitutional amendments, so he got the U.S. Constitution amended (seriously, it took him 10 years, but he did it.)

I wonder, when GiveDirectly decided to do a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with three cash transfer recipients in rural Uganda, if GiveDirectly considered what it would be like for them to watch Reddit users mansplain poverty to one another? Regardless, the internet did not disappoint with their questions:

RedittSnake

And the debate between Chris Blattman and Lant Pritchett about giving cash vs. chickens got an M. Night Shyamalan-like conclusion:

RedittChickens