Workshops provide a more interactive, hands-on space for participants to learn how to use new and relevant development tools and strategies.
Workshop #1: The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity
The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity attempts to measure the amount of productive knowledge that each country holds. This measure of productive knowledge can account for the enormous income differences between the nations of the world and has the capacity to predict the rate at which countries will grow. A central contribution of this Atlas is the creation of a map that captures the similarity of products in terms of their knowledge requirements. This map provides paths through which productive knowledge is more easily accumulated. We call this map the Product Space and use it to locate each country, illustrating their current productive capabilities and the products that lie nearby.
Workshop participants will represent China, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, or India. With the help of Atlas co-authors and the CID team, participants will use the Product Space, and collaborate with team members to determine which industries will likely succeed, which need further diversification, and the capabilities of the country. The interactive tools will allow participants to determine development growth for a country and present their findings to the group at the conclusion of the exercise.
In the news:
The Economist: Complexity matters
CNN: African growth? It’s complicated
Muhammed A. Yildirim | Moderator
Muhammed A. Yildirim is the Santo Domingo Growth Lab post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development. Originally from Diyarbakir, Turkey, he earned a B.S. degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2009. Dr. Yildirim currently works on deciphering the capabilities for economic growth of the countries based on their production structure. Dr. Yildirim’s broad research interests have revolved around using tools and concepts from complexity, network science and evolution to understand complex systems in a wide variety of fields including economic development, systems biology, and the pharmaceutical industry. Yildirim’s research has been published journals such as Science, Nature Biotechnology, and Cell and has been cited extensively.
Other Center for International Development (CID) presenters include:
Sebastian Bustos (Research Fellow, co-author of the Atlas); Jasmina Beganovic (Research Fellow); Juan Pablo Chauvin (Doctoral Fellow); Dany Bahar (Doctoral Fellow); and Daniel Stock (Research Assistant).
Workshop #2: Program Evaluation
As development practitioners, we often find it useful to estimate the impact of a particular policy intervention on aggregate outcomes, such as average income or mortality rates, for a given country or province of interest, and compare such outcomes to those of geographic entities unaffected by the policy intervention. The idea behind the synthetic control approach is that a combination of regions often provides a better comparison for the region exposed to the intervention than any single geographic entity alone. Given that many policy interventions take place at an aggregate level and often affect only one region, the potential applicability of synthetic control methods to comparative case studies is very large, especially in situations where traditional regression methods are not appropriate. Workshop participants will learn techniques to calculate synthetic controls which they can then apply to their own policy interventions of interest.
Alberto Abadie | Harvard University
Alberto Abadie is a Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His main research areas are econometrics, labor economics, and public finance. In his research, Abadie has developed econometric methods to evaluate the effects of public programs. In addition, as a native of the Basque region of Spain, he has long been interested in issues concerning terrorism. Alberto Abadie’s recent research uses data and economic models to analyze the causes and consequences of terrorism. He received his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Workshop #3: Food Wars in Africa? Workshop on Food Security and Conflict in Somalia, Mali and Beyond
What’s behind last year’s famine in Somalia and the current crisis in Mali? This workshop explores the connection between food security, conflict and economic development. An engaging and interactive discussion will be led by Will Masters, Professor of Food Policy in the School of Nutrition at Tufts University, and Ishac Diwan, Lecturer in Public Policy at HKS. Special guest to include an expert from Tuareg region.
William A. Masters | Tufts University
Will Masters is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University. His research focuses on the economics of agriculture and nutrition in rural Africa; before coming to Tufts in July 2010 he was a faculty member in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University (1991–2010), and also at the University of Zimbabwe (1989–90), Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (2000) and Columbia University (2003–04). From 2006 through 2011 he edited Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, and in 2010 he was named an International Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.
Ishac Diwan | Harvard University
Ishac Diwan is a lecturer on public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is the director for Africa and the Middle East at the growth lab of the Center for International Development. Diwan is also directing the Economic and Political Transformation program of the Economic Research Forum. Diwan has a PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and taught international finance at New York University’s Business School. Diwan worked with the World Bank’s Middle East department as the country economist for the West Bank and Gaza, as an advisor to the emerging Palestinian Authority, and as a regional economist. He contributed to the creation of the prime network of economists in the Middle East, the Economic Research Forum, and the Mediterranean Development Forum. Diwan also led the Bank’s Economic Policy group, creating the Attacking Poverty Program and contributing to the initiation of the Global Development Network. Diwan served as the Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. Diwan led several ambitious initiatives, such as Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net, Ethiopia’s Protection of Basic Services Program, and West African initiatives to support the development of natural resources. Diwan has worked on conflict prevention and on state building (in Palestine, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Guinea) and has participated in the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Darfur Peace Negotiations, and the Oslo negotiations.