Friday, April 27, 2012

Debates in Development: The Search for Answers

This series of video lectures from NYU's March 2012 conference, Debates in Development: The Search for Answers, is probably a little too geeky for most readers here, but I found some of the discussion interesting in terms how we deal with poverty in the poorest parts of the world.

Debates in Development: The Search for Answers

"Debates in Development: The Search for Answers," a one-day conference organized by New York University's Development Research Institute and featuring scholars on both sides of fierce debates on the way forward for the global War on Poverty.


Andrew Rugasira, founder and chairman of Good African Coffee, will deliver the keynote address, "Finding Answers in the Global Market."

In 2003, Rugasira began training farmers to grow high-quality coffee in the Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda. By operating a roasting and packaging facility in Kampala, Rugasira and the small, independent farmers in his network keep more of the value added than average exporters of agricultural products. Today, his network includes 14,000 farmers and his Good African Coffee is sold in supermarkets throughout the UK and online in the US. His keynote speech will elaborate on the home-grown efforts of African entrepreneurs to reap the fruits of globalization and improve the livelihoods of their own people.

MIT Professors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo will present their new experimental approach to fighting poverty, featured in their best-selling new book, Poor Economics. They will face their fiercest critic in Angus Deaton of Princeton in the session "Searching for Answers with Randomized Experiments."

Professors William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko, co-directors of DRI, will deliver the conference's opening remarks (10-10:45 a.m.). The morning session will be "Development Goals, Evaluation, and Learning from Projects in Africa."

Session I: Development Goals, Evaluation, and Learning from Projects in Africa

Session II: Keynote Address: Finding Answers in the Global Market

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