Skip to main content

Another music for poverty alleviation

Clare Talwalker, lecturer, International and Area Studies | September 29, 2015

The celebrated author Katherine Boo is in town talking about her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers. It is a remarkable book based on her months and years spent watching and talking to people in a Mumbai self-built settlement and hunting up official records for background. Her book tells a tale that sings off the page, … Continue reading »

UC Berkeley and IDB partner to improve impact evaluation of projects

Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, Global Networks Director, Center for Effective Global Action | September 9, 2015

With over 3,743 investment projects approved during the last five years in Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest and oldest multilateral lender in the region. In order to address pressing development challenges within the 26 borrowing member countries, the IDB has invested billions in project design, implementation, and evaluation. As a result … Continue reading »

Cultivating the next generation of East African researchers

Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, Global Networks Director, Center for Effective Global Action | August 5, 2015

The demand for rigorous, robust data to inform African decision makers has never been higher. Earlier this month, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative partnered with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), the World Bank, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and The Abdul Latif Jameel … Continue reading »

Were you paid by Monsanto?

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | November 18, 2014

Recently I was interviewed for an article published in California Magazine. It is a well-written article about the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I made my usual points: GMOs have actually done much good by reducing commodity prices, increasing yields, saving land and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the health of farm workers. … Continue reading »

On the Accomplishments of our Environmental Leaders

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 2, 2014

This summer, the 14th cohort of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program graduated. The Beahrs ELP summer program brings mid-career professionals to Berkeley for professional training and I was fortunate enough to be the co-director of the program, alongside Dean Keith Gilless. When Dick Beahrs gave us the means to start the Beahrs ELP, I thought … Continue reading »

God helps those who help themselves

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 15, 2014

I grew up in a religious family but I am not particularly religious. I believe that there is (are) some Supreme Being(s) above us, but I consider the religious narrative and beliefs of organized religion to be fiction; albeit fiction with many useful lessons, but nevertheless, fiction. One of my favorite religious stories is of … Continue reading »

Hostages Strapped to the Tank: Coastal Commission Stories – Lesson 2

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 17, 2014

“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince For six and a half years I served as a public official on the California Coastal Commission. Since it’s been a year since I resigned, it’s time to tell a few stories about what I learned as a Coastal Commissioner. Each … Continue reading »

Addis, Lucy and food security

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 15, 2013

Last week I returned from my second trip to Africa in one month, this time to Ethiopia. I went there as an advisory board member of Food Secure, a large EU research consortium on food security. This was my first time in East Africa, Addis is about 3000 feet above sea level, which means you … Continue reading »

On life and cocoa in the Ivory Coast

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | September 24, 2013

This week I returned from my fourth trip to Africa, this time to the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire, but I gave up on pronouncing it…). I went for a project of ICARF and Mars Chocolate, aiming to understand how to improve cocoa productivity there, but I learned much more about Africa, development and cocoa. I … Continue reading »

Nurturing environmental leaders: The Beahrs ELP

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 22, 2013

Last Friday we celebrated the graduation ceremony of the 13th year of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program [ELP], a three week summer program that targets up-and-coming environmental professionals. The ELP has 502 alumni from 102 countries, and the geographic composition of the participants changes over time. This year we had 38 participants, twenty from Africa … Continue reading »

Bob Evenson: An economist with heart

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 16, 2013

Recently I learned one of my dear colleagues, Bob Evenson from Yale University, passed away. Bob grew up on a farm in the Minnesota and got his PhD at the University of Chicago. He became a leading development economist, and taught for more than 30 years mostly at Yale. My early impressions, as a student … Continue reading »

Is ‘sustainable’ attainable?

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | February 22, 2013

Our new program, the Master of Development Practice, emphasizes ‘sustainability’ — but what exactly is it? Last week, we hosted a panel of 5 faculty experts to address this question. It was agreed that sustainability means that all humans are able to maintain a decent standard of living, akin to say, Costa Rica (neither Switzerland … Continue reading »

Pope Benedict XVI on crisis, development, and truth

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 11, 2013

Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign from his ministry at the end of the month, citing declining strength in his advanced age. His Papacy began in 2005 and many of his written messages reflect upon the global economic and financial crisis that characterized the world to which he ministered. Most notably, his 2009 encyclical Caritas in veritate (Charity … Continue reading »

‘Vision’ for development practice education

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 29, 2012

In 2009 UC Berkeley received a grant from the Macarthur Foundation to establish a professional Master degree in development practice (MDP) and after overcoming all of the bureaucratic hurdles, the first cohort joined campus this fall. The MDP is, in essence, an MBA in sustainable development. It includes classes in development and resource economics, project … Continue reading »

Targeted financing needed to expand energy access in developing world

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy | July 27, 2011

Energy poverty cripples development prospects. Where people don’t have access to modern energy services, like reliable electricity, their ability to earn a livelihood is sabotaged. That’s why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called — admirably — for “a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all” in 2012, designated the International Year of Sustainable … Continue reading »