Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- I mentioned last week that Cape Town is set to run out of water, now in less than 80 days, and users there don’t seem to be adhering to the recommended daily water usage guidelines. A Cape Town consultant is asking behavioral scientists to help brainstorm ideas for what might work. Google doc for sharing ideas here.*
- In Quartz, “The Chart That Can Make Kids Taller.” A simple intervention from some colleagues at IPA in Zambia and Fink, Levenson, Tembo, & Rockers that seems to combat growth stunting: A simple chart on a poster that shows parents how big their kids should be at each age.
- Angus Deaton got some people annoyed in his New York Times op-ed about extreme poverty in the U.S. He seemed to set up helping the poor abroad as conflicting with helping the poor at home. In fact the U.S. already spends 34 times as much on domestic health and social welfare as it does on international development (my quick calculation based on Lee’s numbers).
- [Update:] I see Justin Sandefur and Charles Kenny address it here.
- As Tom Murphy has summarized in the past: The U.N. cannot stop its peacekeepers from raping children in the Central African Republic. Now comes news that French troops will not face charges for sexually abusing children in a displacement camp in exchange for food rations.
- Gary King on why propensity score matching is bad. (h/t Scott Cunningham)
- Being the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe means bearing a lot of public abuse and blame aimed at the U.S. Being African-American and ambassador to Zimbabwe is even harder:
Balding and bespectacled, with an unmistakable New York accent, Thomas has spent more than 30 years in the foreign service, serving in U.S. missions from Nigeria to India to the Philippines — but nowhere was he treated quite like this. “My staff and I are called names that the Ku Klux Klan doesn’t even use anymore,” he said.
- On the plus side, Zimbabwe’s prepared for climate change, having spent millions purchasing 40 snow plows instead of earth graders for road building. (The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Development kindly requests that everybody put that in the past and move on.) h/t Rachel Strohm.
(* disclaimer: I don’t know anything about him or the Cape Town water & behavior project, but it looks well-meaning)