Policy analyst to discuss worldwide poverty alleviation programs

Claire Walsh, policy analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), will visit Salve Regina Thursday, April 11 to discuss the effectiveness of poverty alleviation programs around the world. Walsh will speak at 2:30 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.

While Walsh will speak primarily to students in Dr. Chad Raymond’s Introduction to Global Studies course and Dr. Debra Curtis’s Global Capital course, the presentation is open to all Salve Regina students, faculty and staff.

Walsh holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she specialized in development economics and public and NGO management. Prior to joining J-PAL in 2012, she worked for nonprofit organizations in East Africa to improve educational quality and employment opportunities for youth in the region. At J-PAL, Walsh assists with policy analysis and outreach by sharing lessons from J-PAL evaluations with policymakers.

J-PAL is headquartered within the economics department at MIT, with independent regional offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America, South Asia and Southeast Asia. J-PAL and its partners are driven by a shared belief in the power of scientific evidence to understand what really helps the poor, and what does not. Since its creation in 2003, J-PAL has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty.

“When I heard Claire Walsh speak at the Egypt Negma conference, she discussed several fascinating examples of initiatives that had been analyzed by J-PAL researchers, such as the economic effects of fuel-efficient cook stoves in India and the distribution of mosquito nets in Kenya,” Raymond said. “I immediately knew that she would be a great resource for Salve Regina students who participate in the University’s global studies program.”

The major in global studies includes a research-based senior project that addresses a global issue at the local level and integrates the knowledge that students gain during a semester-long study abroad experience. The senior project must deliver a defined outcome with a measurable impact and incorporate leadership, communication, organization and problem-solving skills.

“J-PAL represents precisely the qualities we want our students to develop in global studies and display in their senior projects,” Raymond said. “J-PAL’s field research, policy analysis and advocacy also embodies the mission of Salve Regina and the Sisters of Mercy – taking action from a multicultural and international perspective to help the world’s poor.”

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