A column in the March 7 edition of the Financial Times applauds research led by Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, professor of economics, for introducing the power of “evidence-based philanthropy” as a quantifiable strategy to alleviate global poverty.
Written by Caroline Fiennes, director of Giving Evidence, the column cites research Mobarak undertook on how to encourage more subsistence farmers in Bangladesh to migrate to cities for work during the annual “hungry season” before new crops are ready. Mobarak and his co-researchers, Shyamal Chowdhury from the University of Syndey’s School of Economics and Gharad Bryan from the London School of Economics, published their findings in the September 2014 edition of Econometrica, the Journal of the Econometric Society.
Fiennes cites the research as an example of how philanthropies can employ empirical testing methods to test new strategies. “These examples illustrate much about how intelligent international development works,” she writes. “It identifies a pressing problem. It studies the problem, including seeking the view of the ‘intended beneficiaries’… It works with organisations already embedded and trusted on the ground: no saviours get parachuted in.”