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Development impact calls for knowledgeable development practitioners

Martin Ravallion's picture

These days we talk a lot about how best to assess development impact through evaluative research. Sound data and methods are essential. Here there has been considerable progress over the last 20 years or so.

All that progress will come to nothing if it does not make those people actually doing development more knowledgeable about what they are doing.  This depends in part on whether the research that is done is useful and well disseminated. Here there has also been progress, though more work is needed.

Further thoughts on sharing results

Markus Goldstein's picture

I wanted to follow up on David’s post of yesterday on the issue of sharing results with respondents.   My initial reaction was that we kind of owe this to the respondents not least because they spent a lot of time answering our tedious questionnaires. But as David points out, it’s not quite that simple in cases where we expect to have ongoing work.  

The perfectionists versus the reductionists

Markus Goldstein's picture

coauthored with Jishnu Das

Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income…. 

--Former President Bill Clinton addressing the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (September 2009)

Impressive, heart-wrenching, charity-inducing, get off your sofa and go do something heartbreaking.

But Wrong.

Guest post by Alice Wuermli: Learning from Others -The Potential Benefits of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Studies of poverty, inequality, and development tend to be conducted in disciplinary silos. Rarely do such efforts reach across disciplinary boundaries and thus at times they fall short of grasping the complexity of these issues. Various scholars have made a case for interdisciplinary approaches particularly in the field of international development.

Should you care about impact heterogeneity?

Martin Ravallion's picture

If you want to know the average impact of being assigned the option of some “treatment”— the so-called “intent-to-treat” parameter—then you will get a good (unbiased) estimate by comparing the mean outcome for an experimental group that is randomly assigned the treatment with that for another group randomly denied that option.

Guest Post by Alan de Brauw: Regression Discontinuity Impacts with an Implicit Index: Evaluating El Salvador’s CCT program

I am writing to follow up on Berk’s post about using regression discontinuity design to evaluate the impacts of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. It happens that some colleagues and I at the International Food Policy Research Institute recently completed two papers using a unique regression discontinuity design (RDD) to evaluate the impacts of El Salvador’s Comunidades Solidarias Rurales (CSR) program. T

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