This week, we are starting a new series where those of you on the job market will be blogging drawing on their dissertation work. As you will remember, about 3 weeks ago we invited you to submit your JM papers to Development Impact. Many of you did, and we have subsequently invited some of you to be a guest blogger for a day.
It is well recognized that the stock of knowledge among development practitioners matters to development impact. How then do the operational staff of the largest international development agency value and use its research for their work?
A veritable bounty of interesting links this week:
· A summary of take-up results of a vocational training program for youth in Kenya by Miguel, Kremer and co-authors in the World Bank’s HD note.
For the World AIDS Day, there is a sign at the World Bank that states that taking ARVs reduces rate of HIV transmission by 96%. If this was last year, a sign somewhere may well have read “A cheap microbicidal gel that women can use up to 12 hours before sexual intercourse reduces HIV infection risk by more than half – when used consistently.” Well, sadly, it turns out, so much for that.
One of the things I learned from other folks at the Bank I work with is the usefulness of doing a workshop early in the early design of an impact evaluation to bring the project and the impact evaluation team together to hammer out design. With one of my colleagues, I did one of these during my recent trip to Ethiopia and a bunch of things stuck out.
I just spent the last week in Ethiopia and part of what I was doing was presenting some results from an impact evaluation baseline, as well as the final results-in-progress of another impact evaluation. In all, I ended up giving four talks of varying length to people working on these programs, but also to groups of agencies working on similar projects that started after the ones we were analyzing.
I received a question this week from Kristen Himelein, a bank colleague who is working on an impact evaluation that will use propensity score matching.
There is a frustratingly weak and positive finding in the literature that examines the targeting performance of social funds projects, which, over time, took on many of the characteristics of community-driven development programs and became an important part of the social protection strategy in many countries by funding projects that provide public (and sometimes private) goods requested by communities: they are only moderately pro-poor.