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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Learning What Works--Education Programs in Developing Countries

This seminar will be moderated by M-RCBG Senior Fellow Lisa Robinson with guest Conner Brannen of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT.

Description:  The Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) has significant experience in conducting cost-effectiveness analyses, having completed analyses that compare 11 programs which aim to improve student attendance, nine programs to improve service provider attendance, and five programs to reduce diarrhea. This seminar will address its most recent and largest analysis focusing on student learning, recently featured in a special edition of Science in an article co-authored with Michael Kremer and Rachel Glennerster. The analysis covers 35+ primary school programs in low- and middle-income countries. The seminar will cover the motivation for the analysis and its underlying framework and methodology, and focus on the primary lessons that emerge. It will also address the contexts within which cost-effectiveness analysis is useful and how J-PAL integrates the results into discussions with policymakers and development practitioners.

Presenter: Conner Brannen is a Policy Associate and the Governance Initiative Manager at J-PAL. She is also the coordinator of J-PAL's student learning cost-effectiveness analyses. Prior to joining J-PAL, Ms. Brannen worked for Innovations for Poverty Action ? J-PAL's partner organization ? as an evaluation coordinator in Western Kenya, where she managed the implementation of three randomized evaluations. Ms. Brannen also spent a year in Tanzania as a Boren Scholar working for the World Wildlife Fund and collecting original data for her undergraduate dissertation on the impact of Village Savings and Loan Associations.

There are no assignments or required readings. Please email Lisa Robinson at Lisa_Robinson@hks.harvard.edu if you are interested in attending.

  • Location:
    Hauser Conference Room, Belfer Building lobby level (B-L-4)
  • Date:
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Time:
    2:40 PM

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