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Job Opening: Social Media Assistant, Development Research Institute

 

Summary: The Development Research Institute is seeking a Social Media Assistant to support the social media outreach of the institute. Our ideal candidate is self-motivated and a problem solver; creative thinker with strong writing skills; with extensive experience with social media content and data and is available to work throughout the NYU 2015 fall semester.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Monitor DRI’s external facing content
  • Manage DRI’s social media calendar to ensure adherence
  • Monitor and report on data analysis of social media site traffic and social channels performance (FB, Twitter, etc) using analytics tools.
  • Writing and updating content for website and social media and monitoring online presence

 

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience with google analytics, FB and Twitter native analytics, etc.
  • Experience managing and growing social media accounts
  • Demonstrated interest in, knowledge of, and/or experience in development economics, studies, and/or current affairs
  • Strong writing skills are essential
  • Demonstrated capacity for blogging software, photo, video and audio editing software
  • Strong online research skills
  • Excellent attention to detail

 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in an NYU graduate program

 

Salary/Hours: Salary is $15- $20 per hour depending on skills and experience. Hours will be completed during the regular business day, in the Africa House offices (NYU campus, 14A Washington Mews). 20 hours per week, according to a regular, mutually-agreed-upon schedule. Start date is Sept 14th, 2015.

 

To Apply: Please send a brief cover letter specifically addressing how you meet the above criteria along with your resume and short writing sample to Kellie Leeson at kcl390@nyu.edu and Marian Tes at mct300@nyu.edu by Sept 10th, 2015. The subject line of your email should read: “Last name, First name: DRI Social Media Assistant”.

 

Benefits and salary are competitive. Location is Washington Mews, on the NYU campus.

 

About Our Organization: The Development Research Institute (DRI) is devoted to rigorous, scholarly research on the economic development and growth of poor countries. An independent and non-partisan organization, DRI is led by NYU Professors William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko and is home to a growing team of researchers. DRI seeks to engage the academic world and the wider public about effective solutions to world poverty, expanding the number and diversity of serious commentators on the state of foreign aid and development. Our ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of the poor, who deserve the benefit of high-quality, clear-eyed, hard-headed economic research applied to the problems of world poverty. See http://nyudri.org/ and http://aidwatchers.com/.

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Summary:

The Development Research Institute is seeking a Student Program Assistant to support research and accompanying policy briefings on said research. Policy briefs will include reports, social media outreach and lectures. Our ideal candidate is self-motivated and a problem solver; creative thinker with strong writing skills; flexible and comfortable with technology; and is available to work throughout the NYU 2015 fall semester. This position mixes research and creative responsibilities.

Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Develop policy briefs using reports, interactive media, social media, blog posts and lectures to communicate research findings to academic, practitioner and policy focused communities.

Secondary responsibilities will include:

  • Conduct quantitative research
    Assemble and graph data using Excel
    Manipulate economic data and/or create new variables using Excel
  • Conduct qualitative research
    Assemble information in clear, concise reports
    Writing and updating content for website and social media and monitoring online presence

Required Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in, knowledge of, and/or experience in development economics, studies, and/or current affairs
  • Strong writing skills are essential
  • Demonstrated capacity for blogging software, photo, video and audio editing software
  • Basic quantitative analysis
  • Strong online research skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Experience with Microsoft Office and Excel

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in an NYU graduate program

Preferred Education: BA in Economics; current Economics M.A. student

Salary/Hours: Salary is $15- $20 per hour depending on skills and experience. Hours will be completed during the regular business day, in the Africa House offices (NYU campus, 14A Washington Mews). 20 hours per week, according to a regular, mutually-agreed-upon schedule. Start date is September 9, 2015.

To Apply: Please send a brief cover letter specifically addressing how you meet the above criteria along with your resume and short writing sample to Kellie Leeson at kcl390@nyu.edu and Marian Tes at mct300@nyu.edu by August 21, 2015. The subject line of your email should read: “Last name, First name: DRI Program Assistant”. Benefits and salary are competitive. Location is Washington Mews, on the NYU campus.

About Our Organization: The Development Research Institute (DRI) is devoted to rigorous, scholarly research on the economic development and growth of poor countries. An independent and non-partisan organization, DRI is led by NYU Professors William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko and is home to a growing team of researchers. DRI seeks to engage the academic world and the wider public about effective solutions to world poverty, expanding the number and diversity of serious commentators on the state of foreign aid and development. Our ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of the poor, who deserve the benefit of high-quality, clear-eyed, hard-headed economic research applied to the problems of world poverty. See http://nyudri.org/ and http://aidwatchers.com/.

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NYU’s Development Research Institute (DRI) is proud to announce the launch of its interactive website www.greenestreet.nyc. The “Greene Street Project” website, based on the academic paper, A Long History of a Short Block: Four Centuries of Development Surprises on a Single Stretch of a New York City Street, is a study of the historic development of the 486-feet strip of pavement, today known as Greene Street, between Houston and Prince Streets in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. Today, the block is one of the richest in the city and the world.

Greene Street

The “Greene Street Project” includes an interactive online portal that allows users to trace the development trajectory of Greene Street over four centuries, offering:

  • Easy to use annotated timeline interface, offering users a guided tour through hundreds of years of history of this block of New York City, aided by photographs, maps, newspaper articles, survey data, and more.
  • An interactive “Then & Now” section, allowing users to compare and contrast pictures of particular sections of the block from as far back as 1933, to the present day.
  • A detailed “Maps” section, which allows users to explore the block’s cartography across different eras.
  • A “Data” section that gives users the chance to evaluate everything from the typical occupations of Greene Street residents from 1834-1881, to the evolving market value of Greene Street real estate over four centuries.

So what are you waiting for? Dive into the history of Greene Street, now!

The behavioral economics pioneer Richard H. Thaler wrote a column in the New York Times yesterday, on how people can behave irrationally in a way that leads to not so great outcomes. The column gave examples of such problems and some suggested fixes.

I posted a comment on Twitter that came across as a harsher and more dismissive critique of Professor Thaler than I intended:

Behavioral econ @R_Thaler says we are too dumb to fix our own mistakes but smart enough to fix everyone else’s

I will try to blame the rudeness on the severe 140 character limit on Twitter, combined with bad judgment and orneriness. (But I think another  irrational bias is that we all tend to dismiss situational explanations for behavior like 140 character limits and to  believe that everything is intentional; plus I should be held responsible anyway.)

I put the longer and politer version of the intended (unoriginal) critique –the Paradox of Behavioral Economics — into an email apology to Professor Thaler (which he graciously accepted):

What I meant was that any fix to irrational behavior would still have to be designed, approved, and implemented by other individuals who are also themselves subject to irrational biases. Sometimes the fix will be possible and a clear improvement, other times not so much.

Professor Thaler’s brand new book Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics is getting great reviews. Hopefully it will lead to a discussion of the Paradox not constrained by 140 character limits. And I am also looking for behavioral insights into how to fix my own rudeness on Twitter.

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Photo by James Mollison

Meet Shameela, 5, a stateless child from a Thai refugee camp. Shameela’s battered shack has holes in the roof and walls. She has to share an outdoor bathroom with 100 other people. Shameela is crying while a photographer takes her portrait.

Harrison

Photo by James Mollison

Meet Harrison, 8, who lives with his parents in a New Jersey mansion with a marble staircase. He has his own bedroom with a flat screen television. Harrison’s clothes are neat and his smile is calm.

Shameela and Harrison, along with 54 other kids and teenagers around the world, are part of a beautiful glow-in-the-dark photobook called Where Children Sleep. To make it, photographer James Mollison traveled around the world to take snapshots of children and places they call their bedrooms.

Mollison has a cosmopolitan background — he was born in Kenya, grew up in the UK, and is now based in Venice. Book reviews mention this fact as if to suggest how broad-minded and fit for the job it made him. “To begin with, I called the project ‘Bedrooms,’” says Mollison in the book’s foreword, “but I soon realized that my own experience of having a ‘bedroom’ simply doesn’t apply to so many kids.”

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The photographer embarked on the project trying to avoid clichés: “From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations.” Yet half of his images are of deprived children from developing countries, and another quarter are of well-to-do Western kids who in comparison look unallowably privileged.

The poverty and inequality landscape is not what it was, and certainly not what it is often believed to be. Most of the world’s poor now live in middle-income countries. The United States is now almost as unequal as Brazil. Yet in Mollison’s collection four out of five Brazilian kids reside either in favelas or on the street, while nine out of eleven American kids enjoy expensive hobbies, New York City penthouses, or marble-staired castles. In Nepal, one can’t deny that income statistics are dire: 25% of the population lives below the national poverty line (about $15 a month). Yet Mollison’s sample selection distorts this image further — five out of his eight Nepalese models are abjectly poor.

Each photo on its own tells a deep, complicated, and often hopeful story. Shameela is the first girl in her family to go to school. Preena, a young Nepalese housemaid, sends remittances to support her family in the village. Sherap goes to a Tibetan monastery school and admires his teacher. But when all the photographs are put together into a 120-page book, the story changes.

Mollison says he wants his book to help kids learn about poverty and inequality, “and perhaps start to figure out how, in their own lives, they may respond.” Yet unintentionally, the misguided and often harmful stereotype that some of us can and should fix the lives of others is passed on from our generation to the next.

This photobook can enrich a child’s worldview. It will familiarize children with ethnic conflict, public health issues, cultural prejudices, and more. But to educate kids about inequality and poverty – ideally before they spend their gap year and thousands of airfare dollars on a questionable voluntourism stint – you might need to find other didactic material.