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William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University, joint with Africa House, and Co-Director of the NYU Development Research Institute. He is also a non-resident Fellow of the[…]

Africa is on a growth path, Easterly says.

Well there are plenty of good organizations that are working on the ground that are searching on the ground for practical solutions to poor people’s problems, involving poor people themselves as the main actors. You know like the program in Malawi that figured out a way to get bed nets not only delivered to people who were at risk of malaria, but actually used by people who are at risk of malaria. The kind of central planning approach to malaria prevention is the plan decides that you need million of bed nets, and they are dropped out of helicopters and trucks all over Africa, and nobody uses them because nobody educates the poor people that . . . when they need to be used, how they need to be used, what you need to do to use them. When you involve poor people themselves in solving their own problems, then they figure it out. You help supply a bed net and some modest resources; but you have poor people themselves devise a solution that spreads the education on the importance of the bed nets, and how to use the bed nets. A program like this in Malawi by an international nongovernment organizations succeeded in getting bed net use way up so that bed net use went up from a third to over 80 percent in Malawi.


RecordedOn: 7/6/07