Webinar Series on Targeting and Community Networks in Anti-Poverty Programs


Both centralized and decentralized development and poverty alleviation programmes often have trouble correctly identifying beneficiaries. In recent years there has been a movement towards community-driven development, on the grounds that communities have local information that can be best leveraged when they have the autonomy to select beneficiaries. What are the mechanisms through which this information is leveraged? How does this method of targeting perform relative to top-down mechanisms, or data-driven selection? Which are the effective nodes in the community networks, and what are their incentives to target? Conditional on selection, what additional assistance or monitoring do these community members provide, and how does this affect programme success?

In our upcoming webinar series, six economists will present their cutting-edge research that answers some of these questions.

The series is hosted by the Institute for Emerging Market Studies, with the support of the Development Economics Action Research (DEAR) programme of the HKUST Centre for Economic Policy. It has been organised by Dilip Mookherjee (Boston University and Senior Visiting Fellow, HKUST Institute of Advanced Study), Albert Park (HKUST) and Sujata Visaria (HKUST).


In each of the webinar, the speaker will present for 1 hour 15 minutes. 

Date & time (Hong Kong Time, GMT +8) Speaker Affiliation Title Live broadcast / Video
30 November 9:30pm Fernando Vega-Redondo  University of Bocconi Peer networks and entrepreneurship: a Pan-African RCT  
8 December 9.30am  Matthew O. Jackson Stanford University The Role of Social Networks in Inequality, Immobility, and Inefficiency N/A
15 December 9.30am Diego Vera-Cossio Inter-American Development Bank Targeting credit through community members
12 January 9.30am Erika Deserranno Northwestern University Development Policy through the Lens of Social Structure
19 January 9.30pm Emily Breza Harvard University Affirmative Action, Attitudes and Social Networks: Evidence from Caste-Based Reservation in India

27 January 9.30am

Marcel Fafchamps Stanford University

Mobilizing P2P Diffusion for New Agricultural Practices: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh