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Economic Development


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

In collaboration with the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty and the Urban Institute, Stanford SPARQ has created a toolkit to help program managers, evaluators, and other practitioners bolster their efforts to support people on pathways out of poverty.


Friday, April 20, 2018

In collaboration with the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty and the Urban Institute, SPARQ has assembled social psychological scales that measure not only people's economic success, but also their sense of power and feeling valued in their community.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stanford SPARQ: Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions and Illumen Capital are conducting original research to address the lack of gender and racial diversity in the financial services industry.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Infographic displaying the belief of trusting wisdom and doubting innovation
Many economic development programs fall short because they don’t adequately account for cultural differences. SPARQ Graduate Affiliate Catherine Thomas is trying to improve economic development efforts by leveraging cultural psychology. Here are some cultural psychological insights for economic development...
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
SPARQ executive director alana conner interviews a man in west africa

For several years, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Economic Development (SEED) has operated its Transformation Program in West Africa. SPARQ is working with SEED to research and develop ways to increase the impact of this program and amplify the successes of its participants.

Friday, November 7, 2014
A manager in a textile factory
Many development projects fail because they impose the values and practices of western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (or WEIRD) cultures on non-Western, semi-literate, and poor people. A textile manufacturer in India, however, seems to bypass this problem by helping workers cultivate a more culturally appropriate form agency. Partnering with the manufacturer, SPARQ is...


woman selecting veneers


Stereotypically "geeky" spaces discourage women from pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math.


A few changes in room decorations can help women feel like they belong in STEM.


Low-income students and students of color often earn worse grades than do wealthier and White students.


Plotting a path from who you are now to who you want to be in the future helps students identify with school and earn better grades.

Several 100 Rupee bills laid on a table


Many sex workers in India enter the profession to avoid poverty but then are shunned from society and can’t access financial resources. 


Improving how sex workers think of their profession helps them plan for the future and save more.


Diarrhea is the second leading cause of children’s death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.


Changing people’s feelings about washing their hands with soap improves hygiene, which in turn reduces diarrhea...