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Markus Goldstein's blog

Evaluate before you leap -- volunteers needed!

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It’s been a year since we started the Development Impact blog, and I thought I would use the one year anniversary to focus on one of the classic papers in impact evaluation.    This paper (gated version here, ungated version here) is by Gordon Smith and Jill Pell and appeared in the BMJ back in 2003.

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: