Friday, May 19, 2006

Clinical Economics (pdf)

This article by Jeffrey Sachs brought tears to my eyes. It is providing a positive way forward with the issue of poverty. He includes what he calls the big five development interventions;
Boosting agriculture
Improving basic health
Investing in education
Bringing power
Providing clean water and sanitation
Keep in mind that these interventions could change from place to place. I feel the prescriptive nature of his work is great. He is promoting a new economics, that he calls, "clinical economics";
Development economics needs an overhaul in order to be much more like modern medicine, a profession of rigor, insight and practicality. The sources of poverty are multidimensional. So are the solutions.
The section of Jeffrey Sachs' article that brought tears to my eyes was in regard to the education of children;
Despite disease, orphanhood and hunger, all 33 of last year's eighth-grade class passed the Kenyan national secondary-school exams. On a Sunday last July, we saw why. On their "day off" from school, this year's class of eighth-graders sat at their desks from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
If there is ever any doubt to the commitment they are making; this sunday display should put an end to such doubt. You may ask, "how does all this fit within critical technology?" I see the idea of being clinical and creating interventions that are directly targeted at the local situation is in alignment with the creation of learning and curriculum that is also "clinical". Every situation is going to be multidimensional; therefore, the learning needs to also be targeted to the situation.