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Speak to the computer: the promise and challenges of measuring secrets through computer assisted interview

Jed Friedman's picture

Markus’s previous post on the measurement of sensitive information has started the ball rolling on a major topic that we all confront in field work – accurate measurement. This is an especially acute issue for studies that investigate socially undesirable or stigmatized behaviors such as risky sexual practices or illegal activities.

In defense of single project evaluations: A response to Ravallion

David McKenzie's picture

Yesterday Martin Ravallion argued that the fact that much of the impact evaluation taking place involves assessing the impact of specific projects one at a time is not that helpful in assessing development impact because it doesn’t tell us about the impact of overall portfolios if there are interactions between policies or if the subset of projects which get evaluated in an overall portfolio are not a representative sample.

Guest Post by Martin Ravallion: Are we really assessing development impact?

When people ask about “development impact” they are often referring to the impact of some set of development policies and projects; let’s call it a “development portfolio.” The portfolio of interest may be various things that are (ostensibly) financed by the domestic resources of developing countries. Or it might be a set of externally-financed projects spanning multiple countries—a portfolio held by a donor country or international organization, such as the World Bank.

Power Calculations 101: Dealing with Incomplete Take-up

David McKenzie's picture

A key issue in any impact evaluation is take-up (i.e. the proportion of people offered a program who use it). This is particularly an issue in many finance and private sector (FPD) programs. In many health and education programs such as vaccination campaigns or getting children to school programs, the goal of the program is actually to have all eligible individuals participate. In contrast, universal take-up is not the goal of most FPD programs, and, even when it is a goal, it is seldom the reality.

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