Episodes

  • Originally recorded on February 26, 2021.

    Shawn Baker, Chief Nutritionist for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) continued the discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on February 26, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Sama Kubba.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented threat to nutrition. It is simultaneously disrupting every sector that families rely on to nourish their children. As families’ incomes drop, they can no longer afford nutritious foods. Producers and sellers of nutritious foods are struggling to stay afloat. Health systems are overwhelmed, and families are more reluctant to access needed healthcare, while necessary efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are decreasing coverage of life-saving care.

    In December, startling projections of the secondary impacts from COVID-19 on maternal and child nutrition and economic development were released. Shawn Baker, USAID's Chief Nutritionist, will share the latest data on the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition, as well as insights into how USAID and its partners are using this data to adapt programming and ensure a more effective, coordinated response to address this global nutrition crisis.

    Shawn Baker is the Chief Nutritionist for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In this position, he chairs the Agency’s Nutrition Leadership Council, oversees the vision and strategy of the Agency’s Center for Nutrition in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, and coordinates related efforts across USAID. He also guides USAID’s investments and engagement with partners to address malnutrition in developing countries.

  • Originally recorded on February 12, 2021.

    Philippe Le Houérou, former CEO of the IFC continued the discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on February 12, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Rohit Subramanian.

    Philippe Le Houérou discussed the reforms and changes implemented at the International Finance Corporations (IFC) from 20016-to 2020. The IFC is the arm of the World Bank Group that invests in (and with) the private sector in emerging and developing economies and shared his views on the role of the private sector and development finance in the 21st century, the link between public and private partnerships, and key challenges and constraints facing the poorest countries.

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  • Originally recorded on January 29th, 2021.

    Michael Clemens, Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy, Center for Global Development and Thomas Ginn, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development continue their discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event held on January 29th, 2021, exploring their work further with CID Student Ambassador Sama Kubba.

    Countries restrict the overall extent of international travel and migration to balance the expected costs and benefits of mobility. Given the ever-present threat of new, future pandemics, how should permanent restrictions on mobility respond? A simple theoretical framework predicts that reduced exposure to pre-pandemic international mobility causes a slightly slower arrival of the pathogen. A standard epidemiological model predicts no decrease in the harm of the pathogen if travel ceases thereafter and only a slight decrease in the harm (for plausible parameters) if travel does not cease.



    Researchers at the Center for Global Development, including featured speakers Michael Clemens and Thomas Ginn, test these predictions across four global pandemics in three different centuries: the influenza pandemics that began in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 2009. They find that in all cases, even a draconian 50 percent reduction in pre-pandemic international mobility is associated with 1–2 weeks later arrival and no detectable reduction in final mortality. The case for permanent limits on international mobility to reduce the harm of future pandemics is weak.

  • Originally recorded on December 4, 2020.

    Carolina Sanchez-Paramo, Global Director of Poverty & Equity Global Practice at the World Bank, continues her discussion after a virtual CID Speaker Series event on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis on households, which are significant, pervasive, and worsening in some cases. The design and implementation of an effective policy response requires that decision makers have access to timely information about who is affected and how. With COVID-19 having brought traditional data collection efforts to a halt, last spring the World Bank launched an unprecedented data collection effort aimed at filling this critical information gap. As part of this effort, phone surveys are currently under implementation or preparation in over 100 countries to obtain real-time information on the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on households and individuals.

    Carolina Sanchez is the Global Director of Poverty & Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. In her talk, she drew from from this data and other analysis to present the latest evidence on the poverty and distributional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis.

  • Originally recorded on November 13th, 2020.

    CID Director Asim I. Khwaja joined us after CID's virtual Speaker Series event for further discussion on his research proposal for governments to face the challenges of COVID-19 faster and better, using the Smart Containment with Active Learning (SCALE) strategy. SCALE is an active learning strategy that tests and refines policy in real-time through a context-specific approach, according to the local prevalence of COVID-19.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments face a difficult tradeoff, particularly in developing countries. Government officials must decide either to keep their economies open and risk thousands of lives or implement a lockdown and risk economic collapse, which may also result in many non-COVID related deaths. Even worse they must make these decisions without knowing what the real tradeoff between them is.

    Lockdowns hit low-income countries especially hard. Larger informal workforces mean newly vulnerable populations are harder to target for support. Chains of food production and distribution are more fragile. With many people living on the margins of starvation, a higher prevalence of disease, and poor healthcare, non COVID related morbidity risks are high. The government also has limited money and public capacity to rely upon.

    ----

    To learn more about SCALE, please visit CID's website: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/cid/publications/smart-containment-with-active-learning

  • Originally recorded on November 20, 2020

    Jenny Perlman Robinson and Molly Curtiss joined us at CID's virtual Speaker Series event and sat down with us for further discussion on their work on scaling and education at the Center for Universal Education(CUE), Brookings Institution.

    Despite growing evidence on what works to improve access and quality in education, the world continues to face a global learning crisis, with 258 million children already out of school and 617 million children and adolescents in school but not learning the basics even before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools around the globe. While there are many initiatives working to address this challenge at a small-scale, they often do not translate into the large-scale, systemic change required. Since 2014, the Millions Learning project, led by the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution, has examined how and under what conditions education policies and programs have gone to scale in developing contexts. Drawing upon literature and case studies from around the world, the 2016 report, Millions Learning: Scaling up quality education in developing countries, identified 14 core ingredients that, in different combinations depending on the context, contribute to scaling effective practices and approaches that improve learning. Now in the second phase of the project, CUE is implementing Real-time Scaling Labs, an action research project undertaken in partnership with local institutions and governments in several countries to support, learn from, and document the scaling process in real-time. The ultimate goal of these labs is to support initiatives as they deepen and expand while simultaneously gaining deeper insight into how policymakers, civil society, and the private sector can most effectively work together to bring about large-scale transformation in the quality of children’s learning and their development. This presentation will share key insights and lessons learned from the Millions Learning project to date, including the key drivers of scaling impact in education and common scaling barriers, alongside illustrative examples from the Real-time Scaling Labs currently underway.



    Jenny Perlman Robinson is senior fellow at the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution where she leads CUE’s efforts to build the evidence and produce practical guidance for scaling effective education initiatives through the Millions Learning project. Molly Curtiss is a senior research analyst at the Brookings Institution Center for Universal Education (CUE), where she has worked on the Millions Learning project since 2017.

  • At this week's virtual CID Speaker Series event, Catalyzing Global Leadership to Contain the Impact of COVID-19 we are joined by featured guest Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria after his appearance at the virtual JKF Jr. Forum on October 28, 2020.

    How do we galvanize a global response to COVID-19 that truly leaves no-one behind? So far OECD countries have mobilized over $10 trillion for their own domestic responses, but foreign aid to low and middle countries remains broadly flat. Will we succeed in making everyone safe from COVID-19, or will we replicate what we did with HIV and tuberculosis, the two most recent big pandemics affecting humanity, which are largely eliminated as a public health threat in rich countries, but still kill millions in poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities?

  • At this week's virtual CID Speaker Series event we are joined by Neil Gregory, Chief Thought Leadership Officer of the International Finance Corporation or the private investment arm of the World Bank Group for a discussion moderated by Shawn Cole, a professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on financial services, social enterprise, and impact investing.

    // Recorded virtually October 23, 2020.

    Impact investing in private markets could be as large as $2.1 trillion in assets under management, but only a quarter of that, $505 billion, is clearly measured for its impact, both for development impact and financial returns, according to the report Growing Impact—New Insights into the Practice of Impact Investing.

    Impact investing can be defined as “investments made into companies or organizations with the intent to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact, alongside financial returns.” This week's speaker is Neil Gregory, Chief Thought Leadership Officer of the International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank Group. The conversation moderator is Shawn Cole, a professor in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on financial services, social enterprise, and impact investing.

    Neil is going to speak on The Operating Principles for Impact Management, launched in April 2019 to provide a framework for investors to ensure that impact considerations are purposefully integrated throughout the investment life cycle. The Impact Principles bring greater discipline and transparency to the impact investing market, requiring annual disclosure statements and independent verification of Signatories' impact management systems and processes. As the number of Signatories continues to grow, these asset managers, asset owners, Multilateral Development Banks and Development Finance Institutions have become a collaborative community, working together to shape the future of impact investing.

    Neil Gregory is Chief Thought Leadership Officer of the International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank Group. He has held a range of senior strategy and management roles at IFC, including research, business planning, investment and advisory functions. He was previously Adviser to the UK Executive Director of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and an Economic Adviser to the UK Government. He has extensive work experience in South Asia, China, Africa and the Caribbean. A British national, Neil has MA and MSc degrees in Economics from Cambridge and Oxford and an MBA from Georgetown.

  • On this week's Speaker Series virtual event, we were joined by George Gray Molina, Chief Economist at UN Development Programme's Global Policy Bureau. COVID-19 and the response to the pandemic is driving millions of informal sector and self-employed workers into poverty. George Gray Molina discussed the findings of a recent UNDP brief that provides estimates of a temporary basic income for all poor and vulnerable people in the developing world.

    // Recorded virtually on October 9, 2020.

    Speaker:
    ​George Gray Molina, Chief Economist at UNDP's Global Policy Bureau

    About the speaker:
    George Gray Molina is Chief Economist at UN Development Programme's Global Policy Bureau. His policy and research work focuses on poverty, inequality and policy reforms in the developing world. He has over twenty years of work experience in government, the United Nations, and academia. In his home country, Bolivia, he was head of UDAPE, the Ministry of the Presidency's economic think tank and professor of public policy at the Catholic University of Bolivia. He has also worked as Chief Economist at UNDP's Latin American and Caribbean bureau and has taught public policy at Columbia's SIPA MPA program. He holds a BA in Economics and Anthropology at Cornell University, an MPP at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, a Dphil in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford University and has conducted post-doc research on global economic governance at Princeton and Oxford.

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Dr. Aditya Bahadur, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Earth Institute at Columbia University for a discussion on Urban Resilience Traps: Pivoting to A New Paradigm for Reducing Climate Risk in Cities of the Global South. Aditya sat down with CID's Executive Coordinator Rosemary Berberian for a conversation on his research and upcoming book.

    // Recorded on February 28, 2020 at Harvard Kennedy School.

    ABOUT THE TALK
    The fact that most of the world’s population now lives in urban areas that are facing sharply rising threats from climate change impacts means that the time for ‘business as usual’ is truly over. Since the advent of ‘urban resilience’ as a paradigm, governments and non-governmental actors have adopted certain modes of reducing risk that are no longer effective in dealing with the climate challenges that towns and cities face. Therefore, in this book we draw on empirical evidence from across the world to argue that the time is ripe to break out of these established ways of working or as we call them, ‘urban resilience traps’ and pivot to a new set of approaches that are fit for purpose. The book explores cutting edge examples of how big data and artificial intelligence can be coupled with traditional methods of collecting climate information to provide a richer and more granular picture of the challenges that cities face; it draws on emerging examples of transformative climate action to demonstrate pathways of building resilience sustainably and at scale; it illustrates the limits of formal planning and outlines approaches of engaging with informality as part of resilience; it makes a strong argument for balancing the prevailing emphasis on techno-managerial and infrastructure oriented solutions for resilience with a focus on building climate capabilities and competencies of those running cities; and finally, it argues for a shift from the singular focus on international climate finance as the primary source of funds towards a closer examination of the importance of the private sector, emerging innovative finance mechanisms and public budgets as sources of finance for building resilience at scale.


    ABOUT THE SPEAKER
    Dr. Aditya Bahadur is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York where he is writing a book on urban resilience. Previously he served as the Regional Programme Development Manager with the UK Government funded Action on Climate Today Programme (2016-2019) based at Oxford Policy Management. He has 12 years of experience in research, evaluation and practice of disaster risk reduction, climate change and development. In the past he served as the Research Coordinator of the BRACED Programme (one of the world's largest community level resilience building initiatives, running across 9 countries). He has also advised IFAD, the Hewlett Foundation, the Shell Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, ActionAid and a number UN organs on pathways of climate resilient development. He has published widely on these issues including in highly regarded academic journals. His work has been cited over a thousand times, including by the IPCC and he is a contributing author to the forthcoming IPCC assessment report (AR6). He completed his undergraduate studies at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and has an MA and a PhD in Development Studies (focus on climate change resilience) from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. Aditya was granted a Fellowship by the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2014 and the World Social Science Fellowship in 2015. He was Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (2013-2016) and has been awarded the Fulbright-Kalam Postdoctoral Climate Fellowship in 2018.

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Marla Spivack, Research Fellow at CID’s Building State Capability program, and the Research Manager of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program where she leads an array of research activities focused on synthesizing the findings of RISE country team work. Marla sat down with CID Student Ambassador Emma Cameron to discuss her research on Diagnosing Education Systems following her talk at the CID Speaker Series.

    // Recorded on February 21, 2020 at Harvard Kennedy School.

    The rapid expansion of schooling is one of international development’s most remarkable achievements. In nearly every country the average child can expect to complete basic schooling. At the same time, in many developing countries, more than half of children complete primary school without mastering basic reading and math skills. Despite laudable progress on schooling, much of the world faces a learning crisis. Large-scale efforts to address the symptoms of this crisis often take the form of “more” – pushing children to spend more years in school, providing more inputs, and spending more money – and have failed to produce significant learning gains. More of the same isn’t working, highlighting the need for systemic change. Systems change will require moving beyond identifying symptoms of the learning crisis towards articulating a diagnostic characterization of its causes. This talk will make the case for systems analysis and outline a new approach to education systems diagnostics, rooted in an accountability framework. We argue that this approach can explain systems’ poor performance, identify priority areas for reform, and suggest principals for effective intervention to make meaningful progress on national learning goals.

    ABOUT THE SPEAKER
    Marla Spivack is a Research Fellow at CID’s Building State Capability program, and the Research Manager of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program. She leads an array of research activities focused on synthesizing the findings of RISE country team work.

    Prior to joining CID, she worked on social protection, rural development, and micro-credit programs with government agencies and the World Bank in a range of contexts including India, Mexico, and Zambia. She has also contributed to work on migration and development with researchers at the Center for Global Development. She holds a Masters in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Economics from Tufts University.

    Learn more about Marla's work at: https://www.riseprogramme.org/people/marla-spivack

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Annette Idler, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She is also the Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations, all University of Oxford. Annette sat down with CID Student Ambassador Mark Conmy to discuss her research from her latest book; Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War.

    // Recorded on February 14, 2020 at Harvard Kennedy School.

    ABOUT THE TALK
    Annette Idler will discuss the findings of her timely new book, Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (Oxford University Press, 2019). The post–cold war era has seen an unmistakable trend toward the proliferation of violent non-state groups-variously labeled terrorists, rebels, paramilitaries, gangs, and criminals-near borders in unstable regions especially. Applying a "borderland lens" to security dynamics and drawing on challenging fieldwork including more than 600 interviews in and on the war-torn borderlands of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, in Borderland Battles, the speaker examines the micro-dynamics among violent non-state groups. She finds striking patterns: borderland spaces consistently intensify the security impacts of how these groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and replace the state in exerting governance functions.

    ABOUT THE SPEAKER
    Dr. Annette Idler is Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She is also the Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations, all University of Oxford. Dr Idler’s work focuses on the interface of conflict, security, and transnational organized crime. Over the past decade, she has conducted extensive fieldwork in and on crisis-affected regions of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Myanmar and Somalia, including more than 600 interviews with local stakeholders. Dr Idler is the author of Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (Oxford University Press, 2019) and co-editor of Transforming the War on Drugs: Warriors, Victims, and Vulnerable Regions (Hurst Publishers, forthcoming in 2020). Her work appeared in journals such as the Journal of Global Security Studies and Stability: International Journal of Security and Development. Dr Idler advises governments and international organizations, she is a regular expert for internationally renowned media outlets, and she served on the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council's Fellow on International Security. She holds a doctorate from the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, an MA in International Relations from King’s College London’s Department of War Studies, and a double bachelor degree from University Complutense of Madrid, Spain; and Regensburg University, Germany.

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Miguel Angel Santos, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Director of Applied Research at CID's Growth Lab, as well as Tim O’Brien, Senior Manager of Applied Research at CID's Growth Lab. Miguel and Tim sat down with CID Student Ambassador Valeria Mendiola to discuss their research from Jordan on Macroeconomic Stability and Long-Term Growth.

    ABOUT THE TALK
    From February 2018 through September 2019, the Growth Lab conducted an applied research project in Jordan centered on understanding and addressing the country’s macroeconomic disequilibria and identifying the most binding constraints to economic growth. The project team applied growth diagnostic and economic complexity methodologies in coordination with the Government of Jordan and developed over 40 problem-specific research deliverables to support government policymaking and implementation. The project, which was supported through a grant from the Open Society Foundations, helped to inform Jordan’s overall growth strategy under Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, improve policy direction in several areas (fiscal, labor markets, energy, investment promotion), and harmonize donor programming in Jordan (including by the IMF, World Bank, USAID, DFID and EBRD). During this event, team members will present key findings on the Jordanian economy, discuss innovations in applying growth diagnostic and economic complexity applications that emerged from the project, and reflect on challenges and lessons learned from this applied research effort.

    ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
    Miguel Angel Santos is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Director of Applied Research at the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University.

    At CID, he has been involved in various research projects aimed at helping governments to rethink their development strategies, both at the national and sub-national levels. Since he joined CID in August 2014, he has been involved in projects at the national level in Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela, and at the sub-national level in Mexico in the states of Chiapas, Baja California, Tabasco and Campeche; and the city of Hermosillo at Sonora state. He has also performed as project manager in the projects leading to the build-up of the Mexican Atlas of Economic Complexity, and the Peruvian Atlas of Economic Complexity.

    Tim O’Brien joined CID in 2015 and has worked on both Growth Lab and Building State Capability projects. He is currently the Senior Manager of Applied Research at CID's Growth Lab. He has led growth diagnostic research in Albania and Sri Lanka.

    Tim served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 2008-2010 and has experience working with the World Bank and in environmental engineering.

    Tim’s research interests center on the challenges of economic transformation and adapting to climate change in developing countries and vulnerable communities.

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell, who was recently re-elected to the British House of Commons. Mitchell is a fellow at Cambridge University; a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University; and a Honorary Professor in School of Social Sciences for the University of Birmingham. Mitchell sat down with CID Student Ambassador Mark Conmy to discuss the Causes and Consequences of Brexit. ABOUT THE TALKBrexit has caused the most significant upheaval in British politics for decades. Its ramifications are being felt far beyond Britain’s shores. What caused the UK to advance down this route? How will it all end? CID’s Visiting Fellow Andrew Mitchell—re-elected to the House of Commons in Britain last month—answers these questions.ABOUT THE SPEAKERAndrew Mitchell was Secretary of State for International Development in the British Government from May 2010 until he became Government Chief Whip in September 2012. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2010. Prior to joining the cabinet in 2010, he also held numerous junior positions in Government (1992-1997) and in opposition (2003-2010). He has been the Member of Parliament for Sutton Coldfield since 2001. He was a member of the National Security Council in Britain and a Governor of the World Bank between 2010 and 2012. Andrew is a Senior Adviser to Investec (since 2013) and Ernst & Young (since 2016). In 2017 he was appointed as a Senior Adviser to the African Development Bank (AfDB). Previously he served in the Army (Royal Tank Regiment) as a UN Peacekeeper before joining the international Investment Bank, Lazard where he worked on and off for 30 years. He was a Director of Lazard Asia and Lazard India as well as of Lazard London. He is a fellow at Cambridge University; a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University; and a Honorary Professor in School of Social Sciences for the University of Birmingham.

  • In today’s world, most workers are highly specialized, but this specialization can come at a cost – especially for those on the wrong team. New research by Growth Lab Research Director Frank Neffke assesses the importance of the skills of coworkers. Finding coworkers who complement and not substitute one’s skills can significantly impact earning potential. The impact is equal to having a college degree. Coworker complementarity also drives careers and supports urban and large plant wage premiums.

    Learn more about this new research on The Value of Complementary Coworkers: https://growthlab.cid.harvard.edu/academic-research/complementarity

    About Frank Neffke: Frank Neffke is the Research Director of the Growth Lab at the Center for International Development. He joined the team in 2012.

    His research focuses on economic transformation and growth, from the macro level of structural change in regional and national economies to the micro level of firm diversification and the career paths of individuals. This research has shed light on topics ranging from structural transformation and new growth paths in regional economies, economic complexity and the role of cities, local labor markets, the importance of division of labor, human capital and teams in modern economies, the consequences of job displacement and the future of work.

    Before joining the CID, Frank worked as an assistant professor at the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    He holds a Ph. D. in Economic Geography from Utrecht University and Master degrees in Econometrics and Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam.

  • On this week's Speaker Series podcast, we are joined by Zainab Qureshi, the LEAPS (Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools) Senior Program Manager at the Center for International Development’s EPoD (Evidence for Policy Design). Zainab will be speaking about EPoD’s research on alleviating system-level constraints to improve student learning outcomes in Pakistan.

    // Originally recorded on December 6, 2019.

    About the talk:
    School enrollment is up in Pakistan, but student learning outcomes remain vastly sub-standard. At same time, widespread local entrepreneurship has dramatically changed Pakistan's education landscape, with 42% of school-going children now attending low cost private schools. Transformational research by the LEAPS program shows that improving education quality will require moving beyond the traditional approach of input augmentation towards a new, systems-based approach that explores how to catalyze innovation in the entire education ecosystem and help schools help themselves.

    This talk will outline the Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools (LEAPS) team’s research on how to alleviate system-level constraints to improve student learning outcomes. Lead researchers on LEAPS are Prof. Tahir Andrabi (Pomona), Prof. Jishnu Das (Georgetown) and Prof. Asim Ijaz Khwaja (Harvard Kennedy School).

    About the Speaker:
    Zainab Qureshi is the LEAPS Senior Program Manager at EPoD, overseeing implementation of Education and policy research in Pakistan. She has previously worked at various organizations across the Education sector in Pakistan, implementing low cost Education delivery programs and developing an alternate model of education for low income schools. She holds a Master’s in Education (Ed.M.) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Economics and International Development from McGill University.

  • How important are social constraints and information gaps about the labor market in explaining the low rates of female labor force participation (FLFP) in societies that are undergoing change, but have conservative gender norms? To answer this question, we conducted a field experiment embedded in a survey of female university students at a large public university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We randomly provided one subset of individuals with information on the labor market and aspirations of their female peers (T1), while another subset was provided with this information along with a prime that made the role of parents and family more salient (T2). We find that expectations of working among those in the Control group are quite high, yet students underestimate the expected labor force attachment of their female peers. We show that information matters: relative to the Control group, expectations about own labor force participation are significantly higher in the T1 group. We find little evidence that dissemination of information was counteracted by local gender norms: impacts for the T2 group are significant and often larger than those for T1 group. These impacts are primarily driven by students who report wanting to share their responses with their parents. However, T2 leads to higher expectations of working in a sector that is more culturally accepted for women (education).

    With Monira Essa Aloud (King Saud University), Sara Al-Rashood (King Saud University), Ina Ganguli (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Basit Zafar (Arizona State University)

    //Interview originally recorded on 11/8/2019. Ina Ganguli sat down with a CID Student Ambassador to discuss experimental evidence from EPoD sponsored work on the Labor Market Aspirations of Saudi Women.

    About the Speaker: Ina Ganguli is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Associate Director of the UMass Computational Social Science Institute (CSSI). Her primary research areas are labor economics and the economics of science and innovation. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University, a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University. She is a Research Affiliate of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University (LISH) and a Research Fellow at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) at the Stockholm School of Economics. In 2018 she received the Russian National Prize in Applied Economics and previously received honorable mention for the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research Dissertation Award. She has been a U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist Fellow in Russia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine, and a Bundestag International Parliamentary Program Fellow in Germany.

  • What does it take to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems in the developing world? The talk will share some lessons from our experience at Alter across 14 markets in SE Asia and Africa. Specifically, the talk will focus on three aspects of early-stage entrepreneurship in such markets: (i) thin capital markets and the implications for early stage companies and ventures; (ii) the demand-supply gaps in the high-skill labor market (and the role of the diaspora); and (iii) the potential for using a network-based sourcing and investment model within small, dense ecosystems.

    // Interview recorded on October 25, 2019.

    In this Speaker Series podcast, CID Student Ambassador Valeria sits down for a discussion with Ozair Ali, co-founder and COO of Alter Global - a network of tech entrepreneurs across emerging cities in the world. Ozair works with entrepreneurs to provide them with access to talent and capital. Ozair has previously worked at the Central Bank of Pakistan and at CID at Harvard University. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and an MPA/ID from Harvard University.

    Podcast edited by Charles Hua '22

  • Support for gender equality has increased globally, and studies of this trend usually examine individual- and/or country-level factors. However, this overlooks subnational variation. City-dwellers are more likely to support gender equality in education, employment, leadership, and leisure.

    Alice Evans, lecturer at Kings College London, sat down with Salimah Samji, Director of the Building State Capability program at CID to discuss her investigation into the causes of rural–urban differences through comparative, qualitative research in Cambodia.

    Dr. Alice Evans is a Lecturer at King's College London as well as a Research Associate at CID’s Building State Capacity program. She researches social norms and how they change and is currently writing a book on how societies come to support gender equality.

    Interview originally recorded on October 30, 2018.

  • We are at a crossroads in the humanitarian community. Despite global commitments made in 2016 to shift power away from international to local actors to lead during crisis response, little has changed. We know that humanitarian action led by responsible governments in crisis-affected countries, assisted and held accountable by civil society, can more quickly save lives and act more appropriately to meet the needs of local populations. Simply put, governments and civil society in crisis-affected contexts should be leading humanitarian action wherever possible, with international actors assuming a supporting role. How do we get there? Fatema will share examples from recent crises in Mozambique, Indonesia, and the Philippines and explore how we can transform global humanitarian response towards local humanitarian leadership.

    In this CID Speaker Series podcast, CID student ambassador Mark sits down with Fatema Sumar, VP for Global Programs at Oxfam America to discuss the need for transformation in humanitarian response towards local humanitarian leadership.

    // Interview recorded on October 11, 2019.

    About the Speaker:
    Fatema Z. Sumar joined Oxfam America in 2018 as Vice President of Global Programs, where she oversees our regional development and humanitarian response programs. Fatema comes to Oxfam with a distinguished career in the U.S. government, leading U.S. efforts to advance sustainable development and economic policy in emerging markets and fragile countries. Most recently, she served as Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), where she managed investments focused on international growth and poverty reduction. Prior to MCC, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State and as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Fatema holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University. She studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.