Friday, January 31, 2014

Additional Resources

This week we are wrapping up the first course theme: Education as Innovation, where we explored the notions of diffusion, the effects of education, and the special contribution of agriculture to development.  We'll be moving into Access to Education and Employment, which focuses on the barriers to accessing quality education and employment.

Have lingering questions about poverty, education and agricultural development?  Want to learn more about diffusion of innovations?  Curious to learn more about the barriers to education and employment?

I encourage you to spend some time with the books from which we pulled our select class readings.  These resources address other facets of poverty and development that are outside the purview of this course.  Additionally, seriously consider reading Rogers' entire Diffusion of Innovations and spend some time looking at current and historical studies that have utilized this model.

  • Banerjee, A. V., Benabou, R., Mookherjee, D., & Case, A. (2006). Understanding poverty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780195305203. 

  • Banerjee, A. V., & Duflo, E. (2011). Poor economics: a radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN: 9781586487980.

  • Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations 5th ed. New York: Free Press. Chapter one available on ANGEL.

 I also recommend the work of Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winner who writes about famine, poverty, health and education in the developing world from a very unique viewpoint.

Also, an alternative way of learning more about these issues is to look at the
open course (MOOC) offered by MIT on global poverty.  It's just like attending a class - you get a syllabus, the required readings, assignments and exams and then you can watch videos of the course lectures.  The course I've linked to is actually taught by Banerjee and Duflo, two of the authors from our course readings and who are also world-renown development economists.  MIT also offers several other open courses that you might be interested in such as sustainable development, food security and development policy.

Finally, challenge yourself to connect with at least three organizations or key individuals that are working within these subject areas.  Visit their websites, learn about their strategies, identify their sources of funding, and stay updated on their activities via social media or newsletter updates.

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