Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


CGD's weekly Podcast, event videos, whiteboard talks, slides, and more.

Improving Health in Developing Countries: Lessons from RCTs with Michael Kremer (Event Video)

Over the last 15 years, development economists have carefully accumulated rigorous evidence about what works and what does not in promoting health in poor countries. While each individual evaluation tests specific questions or sets of questions in specific contexts, the large number of studies now means that it is possible to draw more general conclusions. In addition, randomized evaluations are increasingly being designed to test fundamental questions about how people behave and thus generate lessons that are relevant for the design of different types of programs. In this seminar, Michael Kremer will discuss a new research paper co-authored with Rachel Glennerster, Lessons from Randomized Evaluations for Improving Health in Developing Countries, which summarizes lessons from the growing body of randomized evaluations of health programs in developing countries. The paper finds considerable evidence that consumers do not always invest optimally in health. In particular, consumers underinvest in cost-effective products for prevention and non-acute care of communicable disease and are very sensitive to the price and convenience of these products. This underinvestment does not simply reflect a lack of information of the benefits of preventative health. While this suggests the need for government intervention, many government health systems perform poorly and there is little accountability and few incentives for health care providers. Of the approaches designed to improve accountability, community or nongovernmental monitoring has had mixed results but district-level contracting has been quite successful. Many programs can improve health without excessive reliance on dysfunctional health delivery systems—delivering health products through schools for example, or improving health through water treatment.

Worms at Work: Long-run Impacts of Child Deworming in Kenya (Event)

Gilbert Burnham

The Center for Global Development is proud to have hosted Prof. Michael Kremer (Harvard) and Sarah Baird (GWU) as part of the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar (MADS) series.  They presented the long-term, follow-up results of Prof. Kremer's research on deworming in Kenyan schools that shows significant, long-term gains in employment and earnings among dewormed children.

More Than Good Intentions  How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty


Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel present an new approach to global poverty reduction that combines behavioral economics with worldwide field research.Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel present an new approach to global poverty reduction that combines behavioral economics with worldwide field research. Their book takes readers into villages across Africa, India, South America, and the Philippines, where economic theory collides with real life. They show how small changes in banking, insurance, health care, and other development initiatives that take into account human irrationality can drastically improve the well-being of poor people. More Than Good Intentions provides a new way to understand what really works to reduce poverty; in so doing, it reveals how to better invest charitable gifts and official assistance to make a difference in the lives of poor people.

Innovation in Vaccine Financing: Assessing Progress and Envisioning Future Directions (Event Video)

Alice Albright

In a recent speech, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said “The evidence is clear: vaccines are the best public health investment we can make.” As the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) prepares for its June 2011 pledging conference, CGD hosted a panel to look back at global efforts to support vaccination funding in developing countries over the past decade and reflect on lessons learned and future potential. The panel also looked to the issues and challenges facing vaccination financing in the 2010s.