The elimination of extreme poverty by 2030 has emerged as a leading goal among international development groups. So far, unfortunately, identifying solutions that will provide sustainable help to the very poor has proved to be an elusive quest. But one group of scholars believe that they have found a way to meet that challenge: rigorous testing of programs to see which ones truly work. “Starting about 15 years ago, we saw a lot of frustration in this space. There wasn’t any good evidence,” says …

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