The Truth Will Set You Free

It’s exceedingly rare for an international development charity to say its program didn’t work—but, Evidence Action is garnering praise for doing just that.

Their No Lean Season program gave subsidies to Bangladeshi families migrate to urban areas for work in the interim between planting and harvesting.

A pilot program proved successful but last week, a randomized controlled trial found the program had not led to migration, nor did it increase income or consumption. And the organization said so.

Unlike most programs, studying programs’ efficacy is fundamental to Evidence Action’s model—leaving some room for failure without triggering an existential crisis, writes Kelsey Piper.


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