Almost 40 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. People and programs working to help the poor often lack measures for assessing mobility from poverty, and so they have difficulty detecting and scaling interventions that work. In collaboration with the Urban Institute and the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, SPARQ developed the Measuring Mobility Toolkit to provide researchers and practitioners with tools to measure key aspects of mobility. Learn more about the research behind the toolkit.
Bias in Financial Markets
Of the $67.1 trillion global financial assets under management, fewer than 1.1% are managed by people of color. Why is this powerful, elite industry so racially homogenous? With support from Prudential and the Hewlett Foundation, SPARQ is collaborating with Illumen Capital to identify and address bias in the investing world.
To help alleviate global inequality, governments, NGOs, and multilateral organizations spend over $130 billion each year in international aid efforts. Yet, the vast majority of economic development programs have been found to lack long-term impact. With support from Wellspring, SPARQ is partnering with the Busara Center to develop and test whether framing aid in culturally and psychologically empowering ways can help increase the impact of poverty-alleviation programs in Kenya.
Agency for Innovation
Many development projects fail because they impose the values and practices of Western cultures. A textile manufacturer in India seems to be bypassing this problem. Partnering with the manufacturer, SPARQ is researching and scaling this company’s techniques for enhancing worker welfare.
Entrepreneurship in West Africa
West Africa is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, but spreading innovations can be difficult. With the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), SPARQ is working with 30 West African enterprises to research and develop ways to scale innovations more efficiently.
Astrid Westvang / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)