Chris Blattman

IPA’s weekly links


Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action

  • Last week I mentioned the new COVID research RECOVR hub, which was still in development. This week it’s been launched officially, to help development researchers share information about ongoing studies, survey instruments, and funding opportunities. If you are doing related work, please share or have a look at what other researchers are doing so we can build on one another’s work.
  • A great initiative from the Busara Center, “Give More Tomorrow,”  lets better-off Kenyans pledge to give the money from their new tax breaks to the poor during this crisis, but it’s not limited to Kenyans. Anybody can use the Busara pledge on their site for their tax refund or stimulus check as well and donate to Kenyans in crisis via GiveDirectly.
  • Congrats to Penn’s Sharon Wolf & Jere R. Behrman, NYU’s Larry Aber, and IPA Ghana’s Edward Tsinigo, on winning the Society for Research on Early Childhood Education’s 2019 paper of the year, about an experimental program to improve preschool education in Ghana by getting teachers to move from a memorization and spitback style of teaching to an inquiry and social one. It’s also the subject of one of my favorite podcast episodes (Apple) from NPR’s Rough Translation, because they spend most of the time talking to teachers and families to explain why it didn’t go according to plan.
  • Congratulations to Melissa Dell for winning the Clark Medal for her work on economic history and development.
  • Michael Kremer’s seminar at Princeton about financing a COVID vaccine is below (slides here, Michael’s slides start at p13 of the PDF)). He has a paper from last fall about his work on the financing the pneumonia vaccine for poor countries here & here’s a plain language discussion from Scientific American.

(if the video is missing/broken, check the Princeton Economics YouTube channel)

To shore up confidence beforehand I asked my lighting sensei, Tom Ford, for some tips and he kindly sent these instructions, which you all are welcome to use:

“Put the computer up on a stack of books so the camera is slightly higher than your head. Say, about the top of your head. And then point it down into your eyes. Then take a tall lamp and set it next to the computer on the side of your face you feel is best. The lamp should be in line with and slightly behind the computer so the light falls nicely on your face. Then put a piece of white paper or a white tablecloth on the table you are sitting at but make sure it can’t be seen in the frame. It will give you a bit of fill and bounce. And lots of powder, et voilà!”

or head into your Zoom settings:


Send me your online meeting tips and I’ll post ’em. Have a good weekend everybody.