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What the HIV prevention gel trial failure implies for trials in economics

Berk Ozler's picture

For the World AIDS Day, there is a sign at the World Bank that states that taking ARVs reduces rate of HIV transmission by 96%. If this was last year, a sign somewhere may well have read “A cheap microbicidal gel that women can use up to 12 hours before sexual intercourse reduces HIV infection risk by more than half – when used consistently.” Well, sadly, it turns out, so much for that.

Notes from the field: the usefulness of early workshops

Markus Goldstein's picture

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.  

Notes from the field: getting feedback on early analyses

Markus Goldstein's picture

I just spent the last week in Ethiopia and part of what I was doing was presenting some results from an impact evaluation baseline, as well as the final results-in-progress of another impact evaluation.   In all, I ended up giving four talks of varying length to people working on these programs, but also to groups of agencies working on similar projects that started after the ones we were analyzing.  

The Regressive Demands of Demand-Driven Development

Berk Ozler's picture

There is a frustratingly weak and positive finding in the literature that examines the targeting performance of social funds projects, which, over time, took on many of the characteristics of community-driven development programs and became an important part of the social protection strategy in many countries by funding projects that provide public (and sometimes private) goods requested by communities: they are only moderately pro-poor.

Tools of the Trade: Getting those standard errors correct in small sample cluster studies

Jed Friedman's picture

Some of the earliest posts on this blog concerned the inferential challenges of cluster randomized trials when clusters are few in number (see here and here for two examples of discussion). Today’s post continues this theme with a focus on better practice in the treatment of standard errors.

Blog your job market paper, an SME conference, randomizing fear, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

Blog your job market paper? We would love to have readers who are on the job market (as well as those who aren’t but have exciting work to share) do a guest post on their work. If your paper is about impact evaluation, or has a strong measurement component, or otherwise fits with the themes of the blog, we’d love to consider it for a guest post. We propose the following process:

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