Microcredit as aid; Justin Lin, Paul McCartney and the development hit parade; RCT Nerdwar; bias in development research; slutwalks in the South; untouchable video diaries: links I liked
“While microcredit has, on average, no effect on poverty, it can produce significant benefits for the poorest people, by enabling them to manage volatile and uncertain incomes. We should think of microcredit not as a catalyst for economic growth, but as a utility, providing a key service to poor people. Subsidizing the provision of this service is a relatively low-cost way to help people to increase their welfare” Owen Barder summarizes David Roodman’s thinking on microfinance
Heavyweight nerdwar on Randomized Control Trials: Angus Deaton (against) v Abhijit Banerjee (for). Everything on video from 4 minute clips of their arguments to the full 90 minute debate
“Bias is an inescapable element of research, especially in fields… that strive to isolate cause–effect relations in complex systems in which relevant variables and phenomena can never be fully identified or characterized…” Ben Ramalingam on structural bias in development research and what to do about it
‘ARTICLE 17 is a campaign launched by Video Volunteers to urge the National Commission for Schedule Castes, (the government body that is constitutionally appointed to direct and implement the safeguards against untouchability), to prosecute cases of untouchability. Community Correspondents across the country are documenting video testimonies of different forms of untouchability. The first 22 videos are featured here and more will be added as the campaign continues.’ A campaign on the state of India’s dalits (untouchables), based on a series of one minute films made by dalits themselves, showing what they face everywhere from fetching water to going to school to watching cricket, through the work of the Indian-based NGO, Video Volunteers. VV is having two screenings in London on June 22 and June 26 to raise funds for its work.
Here’s 40 seconds of a dalit woman explaining how she has ‘polluted’ the water taps by using them, so those that come after her must first wash the taps. Watch the rest when you can.