Check out this video of MIT's Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee talking about their research in poverty and education. They are this year's co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Banerjee, Duflo, and co-winnner, Harvard's Michael Kremer, used a novel approach involving drilling down into communities and asking small questions such as 'What are the factors that are hindering educational outcomes here?' and 'Can a public health campaign actually prevent the spread of disease?'.