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Getting good civil servants for tough jobs

Markus Goldstein's picture

Imagine you are running the recruitment process for a government agency and you are trying to attract high quality, public service oriented staff to work in difficult agencies.   How should you do this?   If you offer higher wages, maybe it will get you higher quality folks, but will you lose public service motivation?   And how do you get these high quality folks to go to remote and dangerous areas?  

Improving Funding of Impact Evaluations – end the fiscal year and other rules that have outlived their usefulness

David McKenzie's picture

June 30 marks the end of the fiscal year at the World Bank, and an annual reminder of the stark irony of working in a bank that does not let you save – money is allocated to a particular fiscal year, and if not spent during this time, disappears into a vortex where it is reallocated elsewhere in the institution. This is a problem that is not unique to the World Bank - last week’s Science news had an article reporting on the findings of a blue-ribbon panel of business leaders, u

Friday links (part 2): The OLPC discussion continues, paying kids to perform in schools, impact of moving back home, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         In case you missed, the IDB authors of the one laptop per child evaluation post a response to Berk’s post on the IDB Development that works blog. They discuss the context in which their evaluation was done, and the possible government rationale for investing in OLPC in Peru.

Beware of studies with a small number of clusters

Berk Ozler's picture

While some of us get to conduct individually randomized trials, I’d say that cluster randomized trials are pretty much the norm in field experiments in economics. Add to that the increase in the level of ambition we recently acquired to have interventions with multiple treatment arms (rather than one treatment and one control group) and mix it with a pinch of logistical and budgetary constraints, we have a non-negligible number of trials with small numbers of clusters (schools, clinics, villages, etc.).

Dads and Moms

Markus Goldstein's picture

Yesterday, David argued that “the important work on trying to raise the incomes and status of women around the world doesn’t continue to come in part by neglecting the important role you [dads] play.” While I don’t think the world of development programs is in any remote danger of ignoring men in favor of women, I do think we aren’t paying enough attention to how men and women interact, and what that means for how programs work (e.g. to increase the welfare of all).

Friday links: how not to react to an evaluation, measuring global deaths, impacts of media, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         How not to response to evaluations – The Guardian discusses the response to an evaluation the UK government did of a mandatory work scheme, which required jobseekers to do mandatory unpaid work for 30 hours per week in order to continue getting a jobseeker’s allowance.

Not all cooking stoves are created equal: Contrasting results on improved cook stove programs in recent evaluations

Jed Friedman's picture

Indoor smoke from cooking on an open fire has long been recognized as a major cause of ill health, especially for women and young children (those either most vulnerable or most likely to be exposed).  Improved cooking stoves represent the hopes of development professionals in that their efficient design and vented smoke should improve health, lower mortality, and reduce fuel use.

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