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links for 2007-09-23

5 thoughts on “links for 2007-09-23”

  1. Re bednets for fishing. I keep hearing variations on this anecdote (using donated bednets for catching fish or as bridal veils) but don’t have a sense of how widespread that particular problem is.

    What I do know is that this story is used a lot as part of a long-running argument between economists Jeff Sachs and Bill Easterly, among others, over whether or not it’s better to charge poor people for bed nets or provide them for free.

    The Lancet just published a paper (22 Sept. 2007) by Greg Fegan and company showing a 44% drop in deaths in four Kenyan districts with free mass distribution of nets.

    Also, I’ve read about an MIT Poverty Lab study that’s trying to sort the question with direct comparisons (more research is always the answer, don’t you know).

    Still leaves the issue of how many bed nets are being used improperly and whether that’s enough to sink the whole effort.

  2. Of course we do need quantitative data, but the evidence of widespread use is here for those of us with field projects to judge; a friend recetnly saw a net which was 100 metres or so long. We are a country of lakes, rivers and wetlands, now with a much denuded fishery. I am seeing crocodile taking people in rivers where it was virtually unknown in the dry season. Sachs is a misguided control freak from central planning who is the chap responsible for the plan to spend $1.5 billion every five years on mossy nets. He is an economist whom Esterley has rightly taken to task. We need the judicious use of DDT, and direct aid to decentralized power structures and people as an incentive to meaningful advancement.

    Why was an impact assessment not done before Sachs advanced on his plan?

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