ODS Sanjaya Lall Prizes awarded to Sandra F Joireman and Patrick Reichert

03 April, 2019

We are delighted to announce the Oxford Development Studies Sanjaya Lall Prize winners for 2017/18.

The ODS Sanjaya Lall Prize 2018 for the best article published in the last annual volume is awarded to Dr Sandra F. Joireman for her article 'Protecting future rights for future citizens: children’s property rights in fragile environments.'

Dr Joireman’s article investigates the impact of humanitarian crises on adults’ ability to claim the property they possessed as children, and how an environment of displacement and conflict deprives them of their assets. The longer children are displaced for, the more likely they are to lose their assets, particularly as children are often not fully aware of what their family owns. Dr Joireman’s paper recommends that legal changes are made to protect children’s assets when guardianship is lost, and that humanitarian organisations take action to identify these assets and protect them through conflict and displacement. This understudied issue can make a drastic difference to the wellbeing of survivors of conflict, and it protects orphans from being deprived of their rightful assets. The winning paper takes on a particularly salient topic: the number of displaced people is higher than any time previously recorded, with half of the displaced being children.

Dr Sandra F Joireman is the Weintein Chair of International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Associate Provost for Faculty at the University of Richmond. She specializes in comparative political economy with an emphasis on Africa and the Western Balkans. Her work covers topics related to property rights, legal change and post-conflict return migration.

The ODS Sanjaya Lall Student Prize 2017/18 for the best article written by a then-student and published in one of the last two annual volumes is awarded to Dr Patrick Reichert for his article ‘A meta-analysis examining the nature of trade-offs in microfinance’.

Dr Reichert’s paper reviews the ability of microfinance institutions to achieve social and financial goals simultaneously. His meta-analysis identifies the dimensions of these institutions’ performance that drive the findings on trade-offs, and it explores the characteristics associated with trade-offs between financial and social objectives. Dr Reichert’s research also aggregates empirical findings from studies investigating performance tradeoffs and identifies the article attributes that influence the nature of trade-offs in microfinance. The paper has found that articles using an economic frontier methodology, or are published in development journals, are more likely to confirm trade-offs. The winning piece has found that conflict between social and financial goals of microfinance are becoming less severe over time. With the social mission of microfinance being under pressure, identifying and measuring the extent to which social goals are being sacrificed greatly benefits the wider microfinance stakeholder universe, including policy makers, microfinance practitioners, and commercial investors.

Patrick Reichert holds a PhD from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles on the commercialization of microfinance. He also holds a degree in finance from Boston University’s School of Management and a Master Complémentaire conjoint en Microfinance from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. He has a keen interest in impact investing, the capital structure of microfinance institutions and subsidy design.

The prizes are awarded in honour of the late Sanjaya Lall, formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Managing Editor of the journal.