IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

  • North Korea’s surprising, lucrative relationship with Africa (via Kim Yi Dionne)
  • In an inexplicable lapse some congressional staffer has surely been punished for, the House Foreign Affairs Committee invited three eminently qualified women to testify about women’s empowerment in the developing world. Even more encouraging was that the hearing was titled “Beyond Microfinance.” Mary Ellen Iskenderian, head of the financial inclusion org Women’s World Banking, Georgetown’s Melanne Verveer, the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, and MIT economist Tavneet Suri all converged on a similar message about moving away from ineffective programs towards ones that have been shown to work. Watch the video and read their full written testimonies here.
  • What it’s like to run for office as a woman in Kenya.
  • Owen Ozier on three tricks for not letting preanalysis plans mess up your plans.
  • Don’t listen to the EconTalk interview with law prof Robin Feldman about the stunningly clever ways drug companies maintain brand name monopolies, even in the face of laws designed to limit them. Because if you do, you might need blood pressure medication, which probably is off patent but still not available in generic. But you will learn a lot about how monopolies can flourish even in systems designed to encourage competition.
  • NYTimes asks its Wirecutter site for its favorite luggage for frequent travelers (and a DIY version of “smart luggage” with a built-in finder). Also, beware of people checking live alligators as baggage (but maybe the only legit alligator skin luggage on the carousel).
  • Long read on Philip Morris’ secret campaign to undermine anti-smoking rules in poor countries. But congrats to global health expert Amanda Glassman, whose research turned up in their power point presentations. (We can only hope one day the International Criminal Court brings their power point designers to justice).
  • This was mind-blowing: