EPoD News

Measuring Ramadan

Measuring Ramadan

July 11, 2014

WE are in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During this time, as prescribed by one of the five “pillars,” or obligations, that make up the foundation of Muslim life, hundreds of millions of followers are abstaining from eating and drinking (and a host of other activities, like smoking and sex) between dawn and sunset.

The Fight Against Fake Drugs

The Fight Against Fake Drugs

June 4, 2014

By Tina Rosenberg, The New York Times

In November 2008, children in Nigeria taking a medicine called My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture began to die. The syrup was counterfeit, the standard glycerin replaced with cheaper diethylene glycol, which looks, smells and tastes the same. But diethylene glycol is an industrial solvent, which attacks the central nervous system, kidneys and liver. The medicine killed 84 children before it was pulled from pharmacy shelves.

Acceleration is forecast for spending on health

Acceleration is forecast for spending on health

April 23, 2014

By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Standing before a roomful of economists, policy makers and health care experts earlier this month, Amitabh Chandra, director of Health Policy Research at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, closed a presentation about the slowdown in health care spending over the last decade by citing an article in The New York Times.

Fake seeds force Ugandan farmers to resort to 'bronze age' agriculture

Fake seeds force Ugandan farmers to resort to 'bronze age' agriculture

April 8, 2014

By Francisco Toro, The Guardian
Of the many factors that keep small-scale Ugandan farmers poor, seed counterfeiting may be the least understood. Passing under the radar of the international development sector, a whole illegal industry has developed in Uganda, cheating farmers by selling them seeds that promise high yields but fail to germinate at all – with results that can be disastrous.

Day One at “Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice” Penicillin Versus the Magic Bullet, or, Why Data is Not a Mere Annoyance

Day One at “Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice” Penicillin Versus the Magic Bullet, or, Why Data is Not a Mere Annoyance

April 3, 2014

Posted by V. McIntyre, Freelance Writer for the Harvard Kennedy School
The Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion is building a movement toward full financial inclusion by 2020. This blog series spotlights financial inclusion efforts around the globe, shares insights from the FI2020 consultative process and highlights findings from “Mapping the Invisible Market.”

Ludhiana worries over its PM

Ludhiana worries over its PM

March 26, 2014

LUDHIANA: By Shariq Majeed, TNN. The price of being a prosperous, industrial city could be a few years of residents' lives, so says a paper by a Harvard professor. According to Rohini Pande, professor of public policy and author of the paper, the data is based on ambient air quality measured by SPM (suspended particulate matter) in 180 Indian cities. She said the level of pollution in Ludhiana is twice the national standard and more than six times the standard recommended by World Health Organization.

India: Not Quote Poor, Neither so Well Off

India: Not Quote Poor, Neither so Well Off

March 14, 2014

By Varad Pande
Much has been said about poverty in India. Academics have crunched the numbers, and politicians have weighed in with their spin. Putting aside political posturing, there is good news on poverty, especially over the last decade. The rate of poverty decline has increased from 0.74 percentage points per year during 1993-2004 to 2.18 percentage points during 2004-12.

The Slow Track to Happiness

The Slow Track to Happiness

March 12, 2014

By Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer
Religion makes you poorer. It also makes you happier. If you think that's a contradiction, you're wrong. Anyone who has been in a Muslim country during Ramadan knows the transformation that comes about with the first sighting of the crescent moon. During the holy month, the devout fast from sunrise to sunset. Bustling thoroughfares go quiet; office hours are shorter to accommodate fasting employees; and business grinds to a halt, to the frustration of expats and foreign partners.

India's Particulate Problem

India's Particulate Problem

February 9, 2014

By Rohini Pande and Michael Greenstone
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Two years ago, China seemed oblivious to the extraordinary levels of air pollution in many of its cities and the health consequences. But over the past six months, there has been an explosion of information on pollution concentrations, warnings from the media and new policies from the government. It took a long time, but change is happening.