Program Name: efd
Published By: efd.googlecode.com
License Type: Freeware
Date Released: March 15, 2012
John Seaman and Celia Petty spent years working out how to ¡measure¢ poverty in rural communities. First at a high level at the district/province and national level with a method called the Household Economy Approach and more recently at a local level with a new technique called the Individual Household Model (IHM) (think a village in Malawi, or maybe a group of villages in the same district).
HEA has been used widely to predict the effect of crop failures or loss of markets and has been very effective. Recently there was a major crop failure in Malawi, but we didn¢t read about it in the papers or see it on TV because there was no famine, no starving babies looking heart wrenching on the 6 o¢clock news. Because the government of Malawi knew it was coming and acted quickly and cheaply to avert the disaster. Result!
But HEA cannot tell you what will happen if you give free schooling to all the orphans in a region badly affected by AIDS. Would it be better for the local economy if you gave their families food aid? Or cash grants? IHM can answer questions like this, if you gather some data up front, and it can tell you what actually happened a year later so you can be sure the program is running properly and the money isn't all ending up in someone¢s back pocket. This kind of measurement is becoming very, very important when we think about how much money is being thrown at projects like this - our money in many cases, and how little effect they sometimes have.
John and Celia are training people to use IHM and encouraging agencies to use it, by leading project after project in Africa. But it's a hard slog because the only implementation of the software to manage the data and mathematical models in IHM was built by John himself in Access and VB. John¢s a doctor not a programmer and maintenance and upgrade eats into his time on each project. The real breakthrough will happen when it's not just John and Celia on a handful of projects for a few enlightened agencies. It will be when there are hundreds of IHM practitioners out there with many, most or all the major agencies and when it¢s taught in the Development Economics departments of Universities. That¢s achievable, but not as long as each project is dependent on only two people and a hand-rolled customization project on the software.
This project aims to produce a cool, simple to use (and learn), user-customizable implementation of IHM. That way John and Celia can concentrate on spreading the word and training up other IHM practitioners so they can achieve their aim of raising the effectiveness of potentially $billions of aid projects.
If you want to make a difference and have PHP and/or database skills then please get in touch. Currently the work involves documenting the Access data model; analysis of the datamodel; conversion to MySQL; building data maintenance screens in PHP and more documentation
License: Freeware | Downloads (9)
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