You are here

Why 2016 Was Actually a Good Year

Here's a reason to be hopeful about 2016 despite, among other things, the election of Donald Trump, the loss of several beloved celebrities and the intractable civil war in Syria.

Innovations for Poverty Action's Annie Duflo and Jeffrey Mosenkis write that 2016 might turn out to have been one of the best years for humanity because the number of people living in extreme poverty and child mortality has been dropping dramatically. "Emergencies and bad news tend to command our attention, so it’s easy to miss humanity’s remarkable ability to improve its own lot," they write.

They point to things that can improve the lot of humanity: giving poor people cash because research shows they spend it on productive things and a model in which basic health checks by women selling health products door-to-door reduced child mortality by 27 percent.