When the Chinese Premier Zhou En Lai was asked about the impact of the French Revolution, he reportedly said it is too early to tell.
For a development bank such as the IDB, which lends more than US$12 billion a year, it is never too soon to know the impact of Bank-financed funded projects, or which policies have the best chances of success.
And why does it matter? According to Esther Duflo, one of the world’s most influential young economists, it is important because more than one billion people across the globe live on less than a dollar a day; and because more than nine million boys and girls die each year before reaching the age of five, the majority from diseases that are easily and completely treatable.
This blog is a place to learn, for example, that:
- For a Mexican child, having a concrete floor (PDF) can mean a 30 percent increase in cognitive capacity.
- A Colombian girl with a voucher to partially pay for private school tuition has an additional 10 percent chance of finishing eighth grade.
- A child of a poor farmer in Argentina (PDF) receives more education if the parent has a title for his property.
This is a blog that will apply the most rigorous professional standards to discussions on how to make effective investments, avoid following failed policies, and not repeat past mistakes.
What is not measured is not known, and what is not known, is misspent.