If you only read one thing this week…

Transparency International’s 2010 report published by Nick
October 26, 2010, 8:33 am
Filed under: Articles, conflict, governance, If you only have 15 mins, Web sites

Check where your country falls on the perception of corruption by taking a look at the map, and reading the report here.

If you’re really pressed for time the BBC summarizes the results here with the headline numbers being a high correlation between war and corruption. Somalia tops the leader board for most corrupt, followed by Burma, Afghanistan then Iraq. Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tie for least corrupt.


Proving effectiveness – is it possible? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
October 19, 2010, 3:55 pm
Filed under: measuring results

Esther Duflo, founder and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT delivers a thought provoking lecture about how randomized control experiments, a cornerstone of J-PAL’s work, can prove that some development programs are more effective than others. Randomized control experiments have been popularly used to determine the effectiveness of health care options by holding a control group constant and then applying the treatment (or program) to a different group, afterwards comparing the results. Duflo believes that this methodology can also be applied to studying the effectiveness of aid programs. She specifically addresses 3 big development questions: how to immunize more children, how much to charge for bed nets, and how to get more children to stay in school longer. Think you know the answers? Listen to her perspective here. Interested in learning more about J-PAL and their methodology for evaluating program effectiveness? Click here.

Can social media really change the world? by Nick
October 1, 2010, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Articles, governance, If you only have 15 mins

Malcolm Gladwell writes an interesting article for the New Yorker comparing the civil rights movement of the 1960s with the recent high profile claims of Twitter-Fed revolutions around the world. It’s worth stepping back and asking the question about the long-term, sustainable impact that devolved, spontaneously organized, on-line movements will have. Read the article here.