Concrete Evidence about Solutions to Poverty
Last July 7, 2016, the Asian Institute of Management Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center, in cooperation with the International Care Ministries (ICM), the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and the Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Developent Management, held a discussion entitled Concrete Evidence About Solutions to Poverty at AIM's Meralco Case Room. The forum focused on the IPA's recently concluded randomized control trials on the ICM's Ultrapoverty Program.
After opening remarks from RSN Policy Center Executive Director Dr. Jamil Paolo Francisco, Mr. David Sutherland, ICM Chairman of the Board, kicked the forum off by detailing the ICM's objectives and strategies, and describing their flagship Transform program.
The ICM, founded in 1992, is dedicated to transforming the lives of poor Filipinos—particularly the “ultrapoor” living on less than USD 0.50 per day—through a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating education on values, health, and livelihood. Over 750,000 individuals across the country have undergone the Transform program, with ICM's data showing improvements in household income and health, among other indicators.
Next, Yale economics professor and IPA's president and founder Dr. Dean Karlan outlined how his organization has used randomized control trials to determine the effectiveness and impact of development interventions around the world.
Dr. Karlan said, “We want to see organizations—whether being pushed by donors or not—using evidence to make their decisions, so that they can choose the best [programs] they can.”
After a short break, Dr. Karlan and Mr. Sutherland discussed the methodology and results of the IPA's trials on the Transform program's impact on Filipino communties. Finally, Dr. Karlan and Mr. Sutherland were joined by Dr. James Choi, professor of finance at Yale University and Associate Director at the National Bureau of Economic Research for a lively panel discussion and open forum on IPA's study.
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