Prof. Stephen A. Block: “MGDs -- Progress to Date and Recent Setbacks”
Steven A. Block is Professor of International Economics and Director of the Program on International Development at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, both at Tufts University. His research focuses on food and agricultural policy in developing countries, and on the political economy of policy reform. Much of his work concentrates on sub-Saharan Africa. His recent publications include: “The Decline and Rise of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa Since 1961,” as well as “The Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa,” (with Robert Bates), “Up in Smoke: Tobacco Use, Expenditure on Food, and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries," (with Patrick Webb), and “Support for Agriculture During Economic Transformation: Impacts on Poverty and Undernutrition,” (with Patrick Webb). He teaches courses on development economics, agricultural policy, and political economy. Professor Block earned his MPP and Ph.D. (in political economy) from Harvard University.
Ms. Elke Jahns: “Savings Groups and Coping Strategies in Rural El Salvador”
Elke Jahns is a doctoral student at the Fletcher school, studying rural poverty and resilience in Central America. Her dissertation research examines the role of savings groups in the coping strategies used by poor rural households in El Salvador. Previously she studied the impact of climate change on rural families in Guatemala. Before Fletcher, she worked as a Program Manager for WorldTeach, a Cambridge-based NGO, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile in the areas of environmental education and planning. She has also worked in Tanzania and Kenya for development organizations addressing HIV/AIDS, sustainable agriculture, primary education and women's rights. She holds a BA in geology and environmental science, and Masters degrees in music and international development.
Mr. Jim Shyne: “Regional Variation in Brazil’s Progress Achieving the MDGs”
James Shyne is a PhD candidate concentrating in development economics at the Fletcher School. His dissertation examines the impact of public security reforms and conditional cash transfers for schooling on violent crime in Brazil. Mr. Shyne was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea-Bissau from 1995-97 and earned his MALD with a concentration in development economics in 2000. Since then he has served as Chief of Party to USAID development projects in Angola and Guinea and as a consultant to donor-funded initiatives across sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Somaliand. He currently resides in Rio de Janeiro, where he was a Fulbright Fellow in 2009 and is now consulting to the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank on a project related to his dissertation. Mr. Shyne is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Guinean/Cape Verdean Crioulo.