Summer school “Innovations for Development"

Keynote lecture series
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Summer school “Innovations for Development": 6 lecture series
when ? where ?
From Monday 05 July 2021 to Monday 12 July 2021
14p.m CET
From July 5 to 12, as part of the Summer School "Innovations for Development", J-PAL Europe and the French Development Agency, in collaboration with the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID), are pleased to host a series of six keynote lectures open to the public and delivered by renowned researchers.
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The objective of these conferences will be twofold: on one hand, to review the complicated period that the world is going through, between the health crisis and the threat induced by climate change, and its consequences on economic development, in particular attention to low- and middle-income countries; on the other hand, to take stock of the most promising avenues that research has made it possible to identify in a number of major sectors of socio-economic development.

Drawing on the expertise of the speakers in sectors activity of critical to economic development, these six keynotes will show how the results produced by impact evaluations can inform and improve the effectiveness public policies.
Speakers will review the latest insights generated by impact evaluations conducted in recent decades, and offer concrete examples for how to use these results to guide public response. These keynotes will also focus on the mechanisms that affect the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of development solutions, and their implications for their generalization in different contexts.

Each lecture will detail promising innovative approaches to development in different sectors. By highlighting the key lessons learned from impact evaluations in the areas of health, agriculture, employment and good governance, participants will come out of these lectures with a better idea of the intersection between innovation and social experimentation in the development process, and the role that impact evaluations can play in this perspective, especially in the most disadvantaged countries.

Today, even more than ever, the challenges to development are characterized by their complexity and globality. The global health crisis has highlighted the need not only to generate innovative solutions to face the challenges of future development, but also the need to test and evaluate these solutions in order to adapt them to different contexts for a greater effectiveness of the public response. This series of keynote lectures is part of a larger endeavour to build up capacity in the design and implementation of innovative solutions for development, particularly in low- and middle-income countries whose vulnerability to these challenges is exacerbated.

* All keynote lectures will be delivered in French, and simultaneous English interpretation will be provided.

  • Monday 5 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Esther Duflo: “Opening session: Innovations and development"

Esther Duflo is a Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). She is the 2019 recipient of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel for her work on poverty reduction and economic development. She is the author of several books, including "Poor Economics and "Good Economics for Hard Times", co-authored with Abhijit Banerjee (MIT).

This inaugural session will take stock of some of the key development challenges facing the world, in a context where both the health crisis and climate change are particularly affecting the poorest countries. It will illustrate how experimental research can be a tool in generating responses to these challenges, and the role that development aid can play fostering innovations for development.

  • Tuesday 6 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Leonard Wantchekon: “Intrinsic Effects of Institutions: Theory and applications to field experiments on governance”

Leonard Wantchekon is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Princeton University (USA). His research focuses on the historical and political determinants of development in Africa, for example, studying the impact of the Atlantic slave trade or good governance on economic development. He is the founding president of the African School of Economics in Benin.

Leonard Wantchekon's keynote will focus on the theme of governance and its impact on social and economic development. In particular, it will show how the type of institutions and the nature of the decision-making processes can affect effects development processes. Leonard Wantchekon will illustrate his presentation with examples of how the experimental approach can contribute to this area that traditionally belongs to the political economy field.

  • Wednesday 7 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Pascaline Dupas: "Ensuring basic health for all"

Pascaline Dupas is Professor of Economics at Stanford University (USA). Affiliated with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis (BREAD), its work focuses on the development challenges faced by the poorest households, with a particular focus on health, education and good governance.

Pascaline Dupas' keynote will take stock of the latest insights on access to basic health services and products in low-income countries. It will focus on the issue of prevention, which is essential for improving the health of populations and is often a cost-effective way to reduce the disease burden. Yet, the uptake of many effective preventive health products remains low, and some of the challenges to increasing their usage have been exacerbated by the health crisis. Pascaline Dupas will propose solutions to "build back better" after Covid-19 and explore the unanswered questions that where further research is needed to inform health policy decisions.

  • Thursday 8 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Bruno Crépon: "Improving the efficiency of labour markets"

Bruno Crépon is a Professor of Economics at the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Aministration Economique (ENSAE, France) and a researcher at the Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique (CREST, France). He is co-chair of the "Labour Markets" sector of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

Bruno Crépon's keynote will first seek to summarise the findings of studies that have been conducted regarding various aspects of the labour market: job search, the role of institutions, company behaviour, etc. It will attempt to understand the relevant mechanisms at play, which is critical for building general knowledge, and will also address the issue of the high impact heterogeneity and the challenges this poses for improving labour programmes.

  • Friday 9 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Luc Behaghel:"Transforming agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa"

Luc Behaghel is a research director at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE, France) and professor at the Paris School of Economics (PSE, France). Affiliated to the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), where he is the co-chair of the European Social Inclusion Initiative (ESII) in Europe, he is also the co-director of the "Work and Employment" research programme of the Centre for Research and Employment (CEPREMAP).
Luc Behaghel's keynote will present the wide range of field experiments that has sought to identify the barriers to the adoption of more productive agricultural technologies and to the intensification of family farming in sub-Saharan Africa. It will then detail other recent experimental research that has highlighted the role of inclusive value chains, such as vertical contracts between small-scale producers and buyers, in providing the inputs and incentives necessary for productivity gains and overcoming market failure

  • Monday 12 July (2pm - 3.30pm CET): Kenneth Houngbedji and Claire Zanuso: "Evaluating the impacts of a donor’s actions

Kenneth Houngbedji is a research fellow at the French National Research Insittute for Sustainable Development (IRD, France) and is affiliated with the Development, Institutions and Globalisation Unit (DIAL) of the Laboratoire d'Économie de Dauphine (Leda, France). Before joining the IRD, he led impact evaluations at the French Development Agency. His work focuses on the environmental and of development economics.
Claire Zanuso is the head of the impact evaluation team at the French Development Agency. Her work is focused on the challenges of urban development and issues related to youth employment.

How can we report on the impacts of structural endeavours financed by a donor such as AFD, while contributing to the production of knowledge to improve future projects? This is the question that Claire Zanuso and Kenneth Houngbedji will answer in this session, drawing from concrete examples from the field. The presentation will detail recent work undertaken in the Congo Basin to assess the impacts of improving drinking water infrastructure in urban areas, particularly on the incidence of cholera, and supporting public policies to improve forest management.

  • Opening session: Innovations and development - Esther Duflo - July 5th, 2021: Click here to register
  • Intrinsic Effects of Institutions: Theory and applications to field experiments on governance - Leonard Wantchekon – July 6: Click here to register
  • Ensuring basic health for all - Pascaline Dupas – July 7th, 2021: Click here to register
  • Improving the efficiency of labour markets - Bruno Crépon – July 8th, 2021: Click here to register
  • Transforming agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa - Luc Behaghel – July 9th, 2021: Click here to register
  • Evaluating the impacts of a donor’s actions - Kenneth Houngbedji and Claire Zanuso – July 12th, 2021: Click here to register
when ?
From Monday 05 July 2021 to Monday 12 July 2021
where ?

Location of the event

5 rue Roland Barthes