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This paper reports on a two-tiered experiment designed to separately identify the selection and effort margins of pay-for-performance (P4P). At the recruitment stage, teacher labor markets were randomly assigned to a `pay-for-percentile' or fixed-wage contract. Once recruits were placed, an unexpected, incentive-compatible, school-level re-randomization was performed, so that some teachers who applied for a fixed-wage contract ended up being paid by P4P, and vice versa. By the second year of the study, the within-year effort effect of P4P was 0.16 standard deviations of pupil learning, with the total effect rising to 0.20 standard deviations after allowing for selection.

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August 03, 2022
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We present the results of a 3.5-year followup on a randomized experiment benchmarking a workforce training program against cash transfers. Examining self-employment outcomes in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program relative not only to a control group, but also to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries in cash. We continue to find impacts of the job training program on time use, productive assets, and business knowledge, while the cash transfers have strong continued effects on productive assets, livestock values, savings, and subjective wellbeing. Both interventions enhance the likelihood that individuals operate businesses and the sales in those businesses, with large cash transfers sustaining strong improvements in business profits more than three years after disbursement. Nonetheless, impacts have faded by roughly one-half compared to what was seen at the 18-month midline, making most endline comparisons at cost-equivalent levels statistically insignificant. Estimated consumption effects are attenuated by approximately one third, and are statistically significant relative to control at the 10 percent level only in a combined arm that received both cash transfers and HD. Our results suggest that these interventions lead to modest medium-term improvements in the well-being of participants, but that impacts achieved at midterm were not robust to economic shocks in either the jobtraining or cash-transfer arms. Deeper reforms may be necessary to allow self-employment to provide a transformative pathway out of poverty.

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July 19, 2022
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Finding effective measures to integrate young people into productive adult life is crucial, especially given Africa's growing youth population. However, the evidence surrounding various policy alternatives is mixed, and there is no clarity on the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of the various alternatives. In Rwanda, researchers conducted a cash benchmarking evaluation, — a direct comparison of in-kind to cash transfer programs — of a workforce readiness and skills training program called Huguka Dukore. 

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Brief
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May 12, 2022
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We use a randomized experiment to compare a workforce training program to cash transfers in Rwanda. Conducted in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program not only relative to a control group but relative to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries. While the training program was successful in improving a number of core outcomes (productive hours, assets, savings, and subjective well-being), cost-equivalent cash transfers move all these outcomes as well as consumption, income, and wealth. In the head-to-head costing comparison cash proves superior across a number of economic outcomes, while training outperforms cash only in the production of business knowledge. We find little evidence of complementarity between human and physical capital interventions, and no signs of heterogeneity or spillover effects.

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Working Paper
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March 29, 2022
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In Rwanda, we have continued our global tradition of rigorous, applicable research by building foundational research capacity and conducting evaluations in areas of pressing national concern. Examples of our work covered in this brief offer promising insights into everyday issues that affect the lives of the Rwandan poor.

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November 12, 2021
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In a collective effort bringing together 15 studies, researchers from over 30 institutions surveyed over 20,000 individuals between June 2020 and January 2021 on questions regarding respondents’ vaccine acceptance and hesitancy and their most trusted sources for vaccination advice. During some surveys, results from COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials had yet to be announced, and during later surveys, governments had started approving vaccines for use. The fast-moving nature of COVID-19 information may change people’s perceptions about vaccines by the time they are widely available in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Over the past six months, the body of evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of available COVID-19 vaccines, which have been given to millions of people, has become clearer. At the same time, severe, but rare, side effects may have undermined public confidence.

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Brief
Date:
July 19, 2021

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