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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Fighting Poverty:  What Works?   

Esther Duflo hopes to take the measure of a wide range of anti-poverty programs. Applying scientific methodology, her colleagues and students at the MIT Poverty Action Lab are approaching the projects of well-intended governments and NGO's (non-government organizations) with a fresh eye. "We have a spotty and scattered idea of the most effective ways to deliver social impact," says Duflo, so evaluating what works is important.