Yale professor Dean Karlan truly lives the motto of “More than Good Intentions”. In 2002 he founded Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and development policy in practice. Under Dean’s leadership, IPA has doubled in size to approximately $25 million in income, projects in over 40 countries and approximately 500 staff.
More than ever, I’ve discovered that one of my highest callings in life is to contribute to the amazing work that pioneers like Dean and Bill and Melinda gates are doing. But I’ve always wondered if aid really works? What I quickly grasped from speaking with Dean is that “sometimes aid works and sometimes it doesn’t. And the only way to find out is to go the ground and set up careful tasks and find out.”
Hearing the authenticity behind Dean’s intention evaluated my enthusiasm about my own thinking towards significance. The other big ahha in our conversation was that a lot of the answers lie more in the behavioral and not traditional economic theory which he brilliantly describes.