Displaying all posts by Timothy Ogden
October 21, 2013
"What do you do with the households that are so poor that there is no real sustainable livelihood going on?" Professor Dean Karlan and FAI's Managing Director Timothy Ogden discuss some of the recent research into poverty alleviation programs targeting the ultra-poor; questions of internal validity versus external validity; and evaluating economic well-being as well as psychological well-being.
Excerpt from the Transcript
October 8, 2013
A recent report of the Gates Foundation, from their program on Financial Services for the Poor, highlights payment systems as a way of “Fighting Poverty, Profitably” – as the report says in its title. Payment systems, according to the report, “could serve as the connective tissue for bringing a broader array of financial services to the poor”.
October 5, 2013
On the Center for Financial Inclusion blog, Ignacio Mas and Beth Rhyne are discussing a central question in the evolution of electronic payments in developing countries: why aren't people using it to pay? Even in countries like Kenya with very high rates of adoption of a electronic payment platform, the vast majority of money that goes into the system come back out into physical cash in 24 to 48 hours.
September 26, 2013
A dinner I attended on Monday night previewed the upcoming Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Summit in London. The Summit’s ultimate goal is to include 2.5 billion more people in the formal financial system by 2020. It was an interesting (off the record) conversation. Without violationg the rules of engagement, I want to focus in on a topic I raised: Who is going to pay for financial inclusion?
September 18, 2013
FAI Managing Director Timothy Ogden and Harvard Business School Associate Professor Nava Ashraf continue their discussion of her commitment savings research. In Part 3 of the conversation, they talk about product design, behavioral psychology, and more.
Transcript of the Conversation
September 11, 2013
FAI Managing Director Timothy Ogden and Harvard Business School Associate Professor Nava Ashraf continue their discussion of her commitment savings research. In Part 2 of the conversation, they talk about inter- and intrahousehold issues, information asymmetries, and product design to encourage savings.
Transcript of the Conversation
September 9, 2013
Underlying, sometimes deeply underlying, much of the conversation about financial services for poor households is the question of how much control poor households have over their lives and how capable they are of making good choices. The Yunus theory of microcredit assumes that the poor have a great deal of control--the only thing they lack is credit. Once they have it, they can make smart, informed choices about how to use capital to improve their lives. The growing enthusiasm for cash-transfer-style programs is built on similar foundations.
September 6, 2013
FAI Managing Director Timothy Ogden and Harvard Business School Associate Professor Nava Ashraf discuss her commitment savings research. They also talk about what we currently know about commitment savings and why it works.
The original theory of microcredit was that it offered the opportunity for poor households to create profitable microenterprises. But there were always households left behind—those that were too poor to create a microenterprise or plausibly repay even the very small loans on offer.
June 26, 2013
There's a new piece in Foreign Policy magazine which takes a tough look at Jeff Sachs and the Millenium Villages Project--not in regard to results or interventions, but in regard to evaluation. The project was always pitched as a demonstration of a "different" approach to ending poverty that could provide a blueprint for addressing poverty globally.