My name is Nate Barker, I am a young international development professional working with Innovations for Poverty Action. I am especially interested in micro-enterprise development, monitoring and evaluation, and behavioral economics.
I started this blog as something of a “Dear Diary” one, documenting my experiences as a Princeton in Africa fellow with The BOMA Project from 2012-2013, an organization that provided cash grants to help women start businesses in Northern Kenya. I spent the year living in Nanyuki, with periodic trips up North to Samburu and Marsabit Counties. Now though, I’m aiming to focus less on the “Dear Diary, Today I had some very crazy food. You will not believe what they eat here!!!!!!!!!” and more on observations pertaining to international development, economics, behavioral sciences, the Horn of Africa, live as an expatriate, and other related topics.
I am no longer at BOMA, but instead am a Project Associate with Innovations for Poverty Action (or, IPA), an organization that designs programs and policies aimed at helping the poor in developing countries, and which rigorously tests whether or not such programs are effective. I am beginning my tenure with IPA working on their Targeting the Ultra Poor program in Wukro, Ethiopia. After seven weeks here in Ethiopia, I will work for IPA in New Haven, CT, working on data analysis for our various projects.
It’s worth noting that while I will almost certainly be talking about research that IPA does, both the project I’m working on and others, the views I am expressing here are purely my own.