Published on Development Impact

What we learned from running the 3-part series (and links of the week)

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The past couple of weeks have been unusually busy for August, but also fun. While Markus has been on vacation, Jed has produced a lot of interesting (and highly read) posts, and David and I ran a three-part series on the "Impact of Economics Blogs." The latter has been instructive. In particular, we realized -- mainly through feedback from readers -- that blogging about a paper in parts over time may be more effective in disseminating its messages and findings than the traditional one post/one link blog post. Shorter pieces about different questions, the data, or the intervention get absorbed easier this way, while the paper stays in the psyche of the readers longer. Furthermore, the authors get instant feedback on relevant parts for which they might need it the most.

In the near future, we will have more of these. We already have lined up a few people to blog about their own papers, or in one case, their book -- chapter by chapter. Stay tuned for these. In addition, we received a few invitations to present the paper at seminars and conferences. This is much in the spirit of what Chris Blattman called a "game within the game," meaning that blogging about a paper, which itself is about the impact of blogs on the dissemination of research findings, spurred more opportunities for the dissemination of that paper itself. Your head spinning yet?

Below area a few job announcements and a couple of interesting links:

* For our project in Malawi, we're looking for a reseach associate to split time between Washington, DC and Zomba:

* The World Bank is seeking a field coordinator for an impact evaluation of a performance-based incentive scheme for teachers in Guinea (Conakry). The consultant will coordinate data collection activities (e.g., oversee survey teams, liaise with the Government, assist in survey instrument design) and conduct statistical analysis of teacher and school level data. The position will be based in Conakry, Guinea, with frequent visits to project areas outside the capital. The contract is expected to be from September 2011 to August 2012 (with possibility of extension).

An excellent command of written and spoken French and a good command of English are essential for this position. The ideal candidate will be a Master level graduate or a PhD student who has completed her/his course-work with training in econometrics and/or experimental economics. The candidate should possess strong problem-solving and organizational skills, be highly detailed oriented, and have experience with data collection and analysis. Candidates with knowledge of impact evaluation methods and relevant French West Africa experience are strongly preferred. Interested candidates should send their CVs before August 28 2011 to Marie-Helene Cloutier (

* IEG is looking for an economist who has both technical expertise and a deep perspective on experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluation as a tool for assessing development interventions. Ideally the person would have a mature understanding of the debates over their application and could help build out IEG's program, which we anticipate will be expanding with new funding over the next few years and become more fully integrated into our regular evaluation work program.

* NYT talks about the Quandary for parents: circumcise or not? Sounds vaguely familiar? here is why.

* Finally, on the lighter side, Chris Blattman and Wronging Rights are gently trading barbs.

Exactly 2 weeks until the opening match of the World Cup!



Berk Özler

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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