Published on Development Impact

Friday links November 16: Impacts of pretty faces, paving streets, student aid, and more…

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·         3ie’s field notes on implementing impact evaluations: interesting observations from their field visits in 4 African countries. “Local researchers listed as ‘Principal Investigators’ on the 3ie grant application had little engagement in the impact evaluation…At 3ie, research teams that include developing country researchers receive higher scores in their grant applications. Not surprisingly then, many of the grant applications we receive usually have researchers from the country of the evaluation listed as Principal Investigators. But on the ground it was a different story.”…”Delays in getting an impact evaluation article published can be an obstacle to using evidence

The long wait (as long as a year or more) to get published in academic journals can be an impediment for implementing agencies since there is an embargo on releasing the findings. Implementing agencies want to cut to the chase. They want to go all out, discuss, disseminate and use the evidence from an impact evaluation.”

·         On the IPA blog, Joshua Blumenstock summarizes his work on mobile money and giving after natural disasters – with awesome visual data from Rwanda.

·         On the IDB Development that Works blog – how having a pretty face in Argentina makes you more likely to get a job interview.

·         The Atlantic Cities covers an impact evaluation that finds positive impacts of paving streets on poverty in Mexico. (h/t @JPAL_Global)

·         In the Chronicle of Higher Education Andrew Kelly discusses the need for more research before reforming student aid, noting “The lack of research also sets up a Catch-22: Reformers have trouble making a case for policy change, while conducting such research requires experimenting with reforms that the advocates of programs may resist on the grounds that they are not research-based.” - he then summarizes early results from several pilot experiments in progress.



David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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