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Markus Goldstein's blog

When women are in charge

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In 1993 India adopted gender quotas for local councils. In particular, the position of chief councilor (or Pradhan) was reserved for women in 1/3 of the village councils in any given election – and this 1/3 was selected at random.   As one might expect, this has led to a surge in the number of women holding this post. It also provides a ripe environment for impact evaluation work.  

Notes from the field: Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug

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So this past week I was in Ghana following up on some of the projects I am working on there with one of my colleagues.   We were designing an agricultural impact evaluation with some of our counterparts, following up on the analysis of the second round of a land tenure impact evaluation and a financial literacy intervention, and exploring the possibility of some work in the rural financial sector.   In no particular order, here are some of the things I learned and some things I am still wondering about:

    Notes from the field: Teaching impact evaluation to policymakers and other non-economists

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    Back in the tail end of last year, I did a post on using workshops with project teams to build impact evaluation design. My friend anonymous requested copies of the presentations.   Since I am in the midst of doing another one of these workshops here in Ghana, I thought it would be worth posting them now.    

    The evil of flowers: women’s work and domestic violence in Ethiopia

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    After talking about domestic violence measurement and the need for some kind of model when you think about things like domestic violence with Toan last week, this week I look at a new paper from Jonas Hort and Espen Villanger which both asks the question carefully and definitely makes me think hard about what the ri

    Context and theory

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    Coauthored with Quy-Toan Do

    In response to my blog post last week, one of my colleagues stopped me in the hall and pointed out that I missed the point.   So in response, I invited him to join this week for a discussion.   Our discussion follows:
    Toan: A survey without an underlying research question is like salt without pepper.   What you need to do is talk about what questions the survey is designed to answer.

    When context matters

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    coauthored with Sabrina Roshan

    Imagine you are out on a pretest of a survey. Part of the goal is to measure the rights women have over property. The enumerator is trying out a question: "can you keep farming this land if you are to be divorced?" The woman responds: "it depends on whose fault it is." Welcome to yet another land where no one has heard of no-fault divorce.

    Notes from the field: the usefulness of early workshops

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    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.