Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean should tap into big data to reduce the cost of measuring poverty



    By Luis Tejerina and Juan Miguel Villa

    Korean peninsula

    Korean peninsula seen from space at night.

    According to the US government, the 2020 census could cost as much as $15.6 billion, or $49 per inhabitant. While in developing countries, according to a study of 77 countries carried out by Development Initiatives, the average cost of conducting a household survey ranges from $1 million to $1.6 million,

    These initiatives to calculate a country’s population or to measure poverty levels are important for guiding public policy decision-making. But gathering data is often done haphazardly and is expensive– especially for developing countries. Read more…

    The impacts of shifting from print to digital textbooks



    By Rosangela Bando, Francisco Gallego, Paul Gertler

    Do digital textbooks improve student performance?

    Let’s imagine a dilemma: Fernanda, a principal at an elementary school in Mexico, is thinking of buying her daughter a laptop. Her daughter is halfway through fifth grade. Fernanda thinks this is a good time to introduce her daughter to the digital world: A computer should allow her daughter to excel in school.  But is it a good idea?

    Then Fernanda thinks about her role as a school principal. Instead of buying one laptop for her own child, should she try to raise funds to get laptops for all her fifth and sixth-grade students? She wants children in her school to excel academically. But is the fundraising effort worth the time and expense? Read more…

    Is your government ready for the future of work?




    Future of Work: Regional Perspectives

    The uncertainty of the future of work naturally raises a number of questions. It is no wonder Argentina put it on the agenda as one of three priorities to be discussed at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Will its impact be the same across the globe? What jobs will be most affected? What new skillsets will be required? But above all, how can governments prepare and what role can Multilateral Development Banks play?

    All four leading regional development banks recently came together in Washington to present some key perspectives regarding the jobs of the future, which can be found in the study The Future of Work: Regional Perspectives. Here are a few worth considering: Read more…

    Strengthening impact evaluation step by step in the Caribbean countries



    By Leticia Donoso

    Putting together a development project is both exhilarating and exhausting. Sometimes, when the negotiation stage is behind us, the project is being implemented, and all that’s left to do is the final reports, we are obligated to take a retrospective look back and ask a basic question: What was the development objective we were trying to achieve? What result were we trying to obtain? And finally, did we improve the lives of the population we were trying to serve? What did we learn?

    The best way to assure ourselves that we have a response to these questions is to formulate them well before it is necessary to submit project completion reports. More specifically, it is essential to formulate the questions when we design the project. Knowing clearly what type of project is going to be financed and what actions are going to be taken and why are key aspects to be able to evaluate a project and learn from it.  Read more…

    Call for papers on impact evaluation



    Por Oscar Mitnik

    Online paper submission

    The Impact Evaluation Network (IEN) of the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) is calling for papers to be presented at its 11th Annual Meeting, to be held joint with the 2018 RIDGE May Forum, this coming May 22nd and 23rd, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Read more…