FInal Development Assessment

FInal Development Assessment 

Take this final assignment as an example; all of you will, at some point, have to go through a job interview, if you have not already. So I have typed up some questions as if you were preparing for an interview. Treat this assignment as if it were your dream job that you really want.

You are interviewing for a job as a program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world. You are on the “long short list” of 8 – 12 semifinalists; you have made it through the first cut and the hiring committee is trying to decide which 3 – 4 candidates to bring to campus for an in person interview. Semifinalists are asked to respond to the following questions which have been e-mailed to them. Each answer should be the approximate length of a single, double spaced page. While your answers should be organized, content rich, thoughtful, and free of grammatical errors, they don’t need introductions or conclusions. You need to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable, informed, and care about these issues.

(As you know from class discussing, Bill Gates is actively involved in the work of his foundation, and knows A LOT about development. Also, in real life, Bill Gates has read  Poor Economics, which he referred to as a “refreshing change” from other approaches to fostering development).[1]


  1. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the goals of the UN Millennium and Sustainable Goals campaigns. Go to the Sustainable Development Goals web page (

(Links to an external site.)

). Spend some time looking at the 17 goals (scroll over the goals, look at the specific targets, click on some of the links.

  • If you worked at the Gates Foundation, which two goals do you think are most important to try and resolve and why?
  • If you worked at the Gates Foundation, which goal do you think it would be hardest to make progress on and why? (Also think about what our authors might say here.)

2.   Bill Gates is a fan of the book Poor Economics, and wants to integrate a “Poor Economics” approach into the work of the Foundation. What do you think are 3 key takeaway points?

3.  On a separate (but related note), what do you think is the most important contribution of a “Poor Economics” approach? What would be the biggest danger of adopting a “Poor Economics” approach?

4.  The Gates Foundation wants to get a sense of your abilities to do a little research and find out new, policy relevant information. We at the Gates Foundation are interested in the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) to find out which development policies are most effective. J-PAL, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (founded with the help of our Poor Economics authors), runs studies around the world of various poverty reduction efforts.

Go to (Links to an external site. . Spend some time (30 minutes) exploring the different evaluations ( (Links to an external site.) Pick one, skim through it, tell us what you learned, and whether you think the findings are important.

Book: The poor economics – A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

by Abhijit V. Banerjee

by Esther Duflo

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