In both rich and poor countries, government policy is often based on no evidence at all and many programs don’t work. This has particularly harsh effects on the global poor – in some countries governments only spend $100 on each citizen a year so they can’t afford to waste a single dollar.
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Enter MIT’s Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Since 2003 they’ve conducted experiments to figure out what policies actually help recipients, and then try to get them implemented by governments and non-profits.
Claire Walsh leads J-PAL’s Government Partnership Initiative, which works to evaluate policies and programs in collaboration with developing world governments, scale policies that have been shown to work, and generally promote a culture of evidence-based policymaking.
I think a lot of people’s assumptions about what it’s like to work with governments are true, not unfounded. In general, evidence is not the top factor that policy-makers consider when making decisions. It might be eighth or ninth on the list. What I’ve come to learn over time is that there’s often good reason for that. – Claire Walsh
Read the corresponding article by Robert Wilblin about poverty solutions on source from 8000 Hours
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