Can Faith Transform Poverty? MLFC Hub Webinar

Learning Hubs






JLI logo

Conflict Hub

East Africa Hub

Middle East Hub

Syria Hub

About JLI

An international collaboration on evidence for faith actors’ activities, contributions, and challenges to achieving humanitarian and development goals. Founded in 2012, JLI came together with a single shared conviction: there is an urgent need to build our collective understanding, through evidence, of faith actors in humanitarianism and development.

Impact of Christian Values Program on Economic Outcomes in the Philippines

Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub Webinar

Guest speakers: Lincoln Lau, PhD, International Care Ministries and James Choi, PhD, Yale University

Discussion led by Mobilisation Hub Co-chair: Andrea Kaufmann, World Vision International

Photo Credit: International Care Ministries

Dr James Choi and Dr Lincoln Lau present the groundbreaking randomized control trial (RCT) to measure impact of faith and religion in the Philippines. This trial was an initiative between Innovations for Poverty Action and International Care Ministries lead by researchers, Dean Karlan (Northwestern University), James Choi (Yale University) and Gharad Bryan (London School of Economics and Political Science).





The webinar included a presentation of International Care Ministries Program, six-month trial results as well as methods on using RCTs to measure religion and development, and a discussion of opportunities and challenges and potential for scale up.

Discussion Questions:
  •  Given relatively low participation in Transform—average 8.9/16 sessions —does frequency of attendance increase effect on income? Actually this was a fairly highly attended program. Unfortunately because each individual’s attendance was not associated with that person when recorded, this analysis was not conducted
  • How soon and how periodically after the training were the participants interviewed? Do you know how durable the effects are? Would these effects be seen a year after the training, or might the results seen reflect a burst of short-lived enthusiasm?
  • How does the personality or theology of the pastor affect outcome?
  • Were you able to control for the seasonality of agricultural income on the 9% increase in income? When were these data collected?
  • Would these findings apply to other faiths?
Presentation slides
ICM-Yale Webinar Can Faith Transform Poverty?
Featured resources





About the Speakers:
  • Dr. Lincoln Lau leads the research team for International Care Ministries (ICM), a non-profit organization based in the Philippines that provides poverty alleviation programs to approximately 30,000 households every year. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto. He seeks to creatively design studies to inform and enhance public health interventions targeted at marginalized and difficult-to-reach households.
  • Dr. James Choi is a professor of Finance at Yale University’s School of Management. His research spans behavioral finance, behavioral economics, household finance, capital markets, health economics, and sociology. His work on default options has led to changes in 401(k) plan design at many U.S. corporations and has influenced pension legislation in the United States and abroad. In other papers, he has investigated topics such as the influence of racial, gender, and religious identity on economic preferences, investor ignorance of mutual fund fees, the effect of deadlines and peer information on savings choices, how retail investor sentiment in China affects stock returns, and the use of subtle planning prompts to increase vaccination rates. Professor Choi is a recipient of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security. He is ​an Associate Director of the Retirement Research Center at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the FINRA Investor Issues Committee,​ and a TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow.

Learn more about the Mobilisation of Local Faith Communities Hub