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Public programs are designed to reach certain goals and beneficiaries. Methods to understand whether such programs actually work, as well as the level and nature of impacts on intended beneficiaries, are main themes of this book. Has the Grameen Bank, for example, succeeded in lowering consumption poverty among the rural poor in Bangladesh? Can conditional cash transfer programs in Mexico and Latin America improve health and schooling outcomes for poor women and children? Does a new road actually raise welfare in a remote area in Tanzania, or is it a 'highway to nowhere'? This book reviews quantitative methods and models of impact evaluation. It begins by reviewing the basic issues pertaining to an evaluation of an intervention to reach certain targets and goals. It then focuses on the experimental design of an impact evaluation, highlighting its strengths and shortcomings, followed by discussions on various non-experimental methods. The authors also cover methods to shed light on the nature and mechanisms by which different participants are benefiting from the program. For researchers interested in learning how to use these models with statistical software, the book also provides STATA exercises in the context of evaluating major microcredit programs in Bangladesh, such as the Grameen Bank. The framework presented in this book can be very useful for strengthening local capacity in impact evaluation among technicians and policymakers in charge of formulating, implementing, and evaluating programs to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment.
Handbook on Poverty and Inequality was originally designed to support training courses in poverty analysis and inequality. The Handbook begins with an explanatory text that includes numerous examples, multiple-choice questions to ensure active learning, and extensive practical exercises that use Stata statistical software. The Handbook will help researchers and evaluators in charge of preparing background materials for Poverty Reducation Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and those responsible for monitoring and evaluating poverty reduction programs and policies. The World Bank Institute has used the Handbook in training workshops in countries from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, to Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, to Malawi and Tanzania, as well as in university courses on poverty and in distance education courses with participants from Asian and African countries. The Handbook has also been used in an online asynchronous course with more than 200 participants worldwide. Using the feedback from these courses, the authors have created a clearly-written text that balances rigor with practicality. The Handbook is designed to be accessible to people with a university-level background in science or the social sciences. It is an invaluable tool for policy analysts, researchers, college students, and government officials working on policy issues related to poverty and inequality.
Rural energy's importance to the Bangladesh economy cannot be underestimated, The problems rural people face in obtaining safe, clean, and reliable energy supplies are not minor inconveniences. People are cooking with biomass fuels including large amounts of leaves and grass that expose them harmful indoor air pollution. They light with kerosene or sometimes candles which give off a dim light that hampers studying and reading in the evening. Finally, rural productivity suffers because of lack of access to modern energy. However, the picture also is not all bleak. This study underscores how improved access to rural energy services can created multiple benefits for rural life-from income and labor productivity to education and women's health. Recommended or enhancement of programs for improved stoves, rural electrification, renewable energy and greater access to commercial liquid fuels can significantly improve both the rural productivity and enhance the quality of life in rural Bangladesh.
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