Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- Data and computer algorithms are playing a part in policy decisions, like bail or parole recommendations based on a computer’s recidivism guesses. Pro Publica and WNYC have an interesting series on “Machine Bias” – what happens when data-based algorithms are mistaken. They’re crowdsourcing a test of how accurate what Facebook thinks it knows about you is. Use their Chrome extension to help anonymously. (h/t Alex Goldmark)
- Some practical tips from my financial inclusion colleagues for setting up conferences where academics and real-world types actually communicate (it’s short and you can skip to the bullet points).
- Brazil is starting “race committees” to determine who has enough African heritage to qualify for affirmative action. One government job applicant tried to prove he was Black enough, he:
went to seven dermatologists who used something called the Fitzpatrick scale that grades skin tone from one to seven, or whitest to darkest. The last doctor even had a special machine.
“Apparently on my face I’m a Type 4. Which would be like Jennifer Lopez or Dev Patel, Frida Pinto [sic] or John Stamos. On my limbs I would be Type 5, which is Halle Berry, Will Smith, Beyonce and Tiger Woods,” he said.
- World Bank Presiden Jim Yong Kim plans on naming and shaming countries with high child growth stunting (e.g. malnutrition) who aren’t using proving methods for addressing the massive problem:
The problem is huge. In India 38.7% of children are stunted, in Pakistan 45% and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 70%.
It becomes even worse when you consider the future of work is in skilled jobs, and kids in poor countries are starting out with lifetime cognitive deficits.
- Some good news, a Lancet study finds 78% of diarrheal disease is caused by six bugs, which may make treatment easier.
- New Book: Impact Evaluation in Practice, Second Edition is available FREE here.
- There’s been a spate of schools being burned down in Kenya. An anthropologist suggests the reason is students are protesting prison-like conditions and have learned from the political realm that the government only listens to protests when they’re a threat to public safety. (h/t Lee Crawfurd)
Neuroscientist and data guy John Borghi points to one table from 1959 that explains psychology’s current replication crisis*:
* (Many more fields have replication crises, psychology’s the one that seems to be dealing with it)