Peter Orazem to present education strategies for developing nations

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An Iowa State University expert on improving global education will speak on campus Nov. 14. Peter Orazem will highlight the use of health and nutrition interventions at the school level in order to foster improved educational outcomes in developing countries.

Peter Orazem. Photo by Bob Elbert, University Relations

"Research has shown that micronutrient intervention improves a child’s ability to learn for the rest of his or her life," said Orazem, University Professor of economics. Micronutrient intervention in children also increases their lifetime earnings, he said.

“That probably dominates any other educational intervention,” Orazem said, “because it has a much higher return at a lower cost.”

Orazem will present “Investing for All or Investing for Some: Should We Try to Develop All of Africa at Once?” on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. This fall 2012 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture is free and open to the public.

Orazem recently authored four of the top 15 strategies to improve education in the developing world, cited by a panel of leading economists, including four Nobel Laureates, at the global Copenhagen Consensus 2012. Of the strategies presented, Orazem said micronutrient intervention was the highest rated on benefit/cost prospects.

Micronutrient intervention (such as iron and zinc) at the school level allows multiple children to be reached at one time and in one place, said Orazem. He added that it also gives parents in developing countries an extra incentive to send their children to school.

Orazem joined the Iowa State faculty in 1982 and has served as a consultant to the World Bank and on the team for the 2007 World Development Report.

The Dean’s Lecture Series is coordinated by Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is cosponsored by the University Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body). A reception will follow the lecture. See the flyer.

About Liberal Arts and Sciences The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. College faculty design new materials, unravel biological structures, care for the environment, and explore social and behavioral issues. From fundamental research to technology transfer and artistic expression, the college supports people in its community and around the world.

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Contacts: Peter Orazem, Economics, (515) 294-8656 ( Laura Wille, Liberal Arts and Sciences Communications, (515) 294-7742 (