Esther Duflo makes her point brilliantly here, saying we need to apply to Social work the same kind of scientific, practical approach as in business and science, with randomized trials to see what works and what doesn’t instead of relying on ideology and guesswork.
She answers three questions as an example. There have been traditionally a lot of possible ways of attacking this problem, and she shows which ones offer the best success rate after testing:
- How to best immunize children.
- How to distribute mosquito nets (free or paid?)
- How to get children into school
Addmittedly the solutions in one place may not work in another area. It is normal, working solutions depend on many factors.
In our project we are devising ways to actually run tests to see what are the best social outcomes in connection to the responsible tourism movement.