I am a fan of the potential of randomized trials and was pleased to read an article in the 25 Oct 2007 issue of Nature called Field Trials Aim to Tackle Poverty. The Poverty Action Lab, featured in the article, is a good resource for me, but I thought the article was a bit unfair to the "debate" over handing out malaria bed nets for free or charging. (Here's the paper for those wishing to review their development economics.) They take a swipe at Population Services International, an organization I have appreciated in many contexts, mostly as they push people (me, especially) to see aid and health programs as more than just supplying the needed goods. It also requires socil marketing to help change behavior, or so I thought.
Maybe I will spend Sunday afternoon reading this and see if I was wrong all along.