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Category Archives: Metrics and evaluation

More Tales of Two Tails

The following post is by Dennis Whittle, co-founder of GlobalGiving. Dennis blogs at Pulling for the Underdog. An eloquent 3 year-old would have been better asking “What the dickens are you talking about?  Who is defining success?  Who says failure is bad, anyway?” – Joe Earlier I blogged about aid cheerleaders and critics. Each camp argues about the mean[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Congressional Muslim Terrorism Hearings: the Mathematical Witness Transcript

UPDATE 11am response to commentator: is there an association between inability to understand Bayes’ theorem with ethnic prejudice? UPDATE 3:30PM explaining risk of false positives to congressmen and commentators Congressman Chairman: Muslims! Terrorists! Muslims! Terrorists! Witness: Let A be the event of terrorism, and B be the event of Muslimism. Then P(A|B)≠P(B|A) Congressman: What are[.....]

Also posted in Human rights, Satire and parodies | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Solving the education puzzle? Test scores and growth

There has long been a mystery in why the rapid growth of education in poor countries did not pay off in growth of production per worker, above all in Africa (best captured by a classic paper by Lant Pritchett, Where has all the education gone?, ungated here) Eric Hanushek at Stanford has been working for[.....]

Also posted in Academic research | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Hey, fellow committee member, are you the weakest link?

UPDATE: 12:18 PM SEE END OF POST I was just on a committee that selected a small number of papers from a large number of submissions for a conference.  We each graded each paper and then we had to come up with a rule to go from our individual grades to a ranking of the[.....]

Also posted in Academic research, Cognitive biases | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Dear UK Government, why won’t you let me retire as Official Sachs Critic?

UPDATE 3: FEB 8 4:50PM: Twitter War reveals that Millennium Village Blog accused Clemens and Demombynes of hard hearts towards suffering (search the blog for “suffering”). UPDATE 2: FEB 8 4:30PM: concluding coverage by @PSIHealthyLives @viewfromthecave of the Great Twitter War prompted by this post between @aidwatch and @earthinstitute, with collateral attacks on @m_clem, ending in[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Development in 3 Sentences

I liked this formulation from the blog The Coming Prosperity, posted today as a link on Twitter: If solutions are known, need $$. If solutions are knowable, need evaluations. If solutions are evolving, need entrepreneurs. Consumer Warnings: This comes at the end of a long diatribe against You-Know-Who (associated with $$). I’m not sure the[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches | 8 Comments

Please help us praise Millennium Villages…

UPDATE 4: 3rd nomination for positive. Day 3 of silence from MVP UPDATE 3: another nomination for positive evaluation (Michael Clemens paper), another energetic disavowal by the author (see comments below).   UPDATE 2: oops, author of only nomination so far says it’s not so positive– see comments UPDATE: received first nomination of positive review On Twitter,[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates | 16 Comments

What’s it like to live in a Millennium Village?

In Mayange, a cluster of villages about an hour’s drive south of Kigali, Rwanda, interventions by the Millennium Village Project across all sectors (in seeds, fertilizer, malaria nets, health clinics, vaccines, ambulances, water sources, classrooms, computers, cell towers, microloans and lots more) aim to lift villagers out of poverty within five to ten years. What[.....]

Also posted in Academic research | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Census 2010: Voters more Republican, more Texan, Fatter

The exciting Census headlines:  Texas is the big winner in gaining Congressional seats, Texans vote Republican, Republicans win! Except — the additional Texans are Hispanics, Hispanics vote Democratic, Democrats win! What a nice illustration of a serious problem in development empirics, known by the lusty, sensuous name of “heterogeneous effects.”  If  you find handing out free bed[.....]

Also posted in In the news, Maps | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Human Development Index debate…you still want more?

I suspect that we long ago exhausted the patience of our readers with our multiple rounds of debate on the Human Development Report’s new methodology for its Human Development Index. At the same time, I feel an obligation to let the other side of the debate have their say as much as they want. So here is[.....]

Also posted in Aid debates | Tagged , | 2 Comments
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

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