Rachel Glennerster writes in Burkina Faso's L'Economiste about her research with IPA in Sierra Leone on how knowledge of candidates affects voters. (Note: in French)
Political debates are good even when they’re bad. Even when candidates are cringe-worthy, they’re cringe-worthy in public view. And voters learn about all the candidates, not just new ones. In the United States, for example, Hillary Clinton has been center stage in political life for 24 years. Donald Trump is the very definition of “overexposed.” Still, the debates tell us new things about them — their positions, temperament, grace under pressure (or lack thereof), charisma and political skill.
How much more could voters benefit from debates in countries where they know next to...
IPA researchers Ted Miguel, Kenneth Lee, and Catherine Wolfram, with IPA-Kenya's Francis Meyo have an op-ed in Reuters about President Obama's plan to power Africa. Using findings from IPA's Rural Electric Power Project in Kenya they point out that the vast majority of Kenayans are close to an existing power grid, and what's needed is connections to the grid, not small solar generation.
The Economist reports on the IPA study by Lucy Martin of Yale and IPA-Uganda, in which participants played games with corruption losses framed as from aid or tax coffers.
Our research affiliate Rachel Glennerster recently gave an interview on Good Morning Sierra Leone about this study on voter knowledge initiatives. Watch the interview below, and read more about the study here.
Editor’s note: Xavier Giné is a Senior Economist at the World Bank. In our continuing series, he talks about research he presented at the Impact and Policy Conference.
Despite improvements in de jure rights to female political participation in emerging democracies, women are less likely than men to stand for public office and to participate as voters. Even when they do vote, women are less likely to exercise independence in candidate choice. Instead, women report voting in accordance with the preferences of the caste, clan or household head in contrast to men of all ages...
Chris Blattman is off to Liberia to check in on a couple of projects being implemented with IPA. I'm pretty sure our excellent field staff will have everything under control.
One project is a study on a training program for former civil war combatants, another an evaluation of a peace education program. If you thought that RCTs couldn't do governance, you thought wrong.
Alanna Sheikh started a bit of a debate last week on the limitations of impact evaluations. She cites Andrew Natsios (a former USAID administrator)
USAID has begun to favor health programs over democracy strengthening or governance programs because health programs can be more easily measured for impact. Rule of law efforts, on the other hand, are vital to development but hard to measure and therefore get less funding.
Lots of things are vital for development, but something being vital doesn’t mean that aid funding is necessarily an effective way of...
IPA Research Affiliate Abhijit Banerjee writes on the effects of reserving parliamentary seats for women.
"The most important reason why we should want reservations may, therefore, be that they help shake people out of their ignorant prejudices against women in politics and open the way for the country to draw upon a much bigger pool of political talent"
Abhijit BanerjeeÂ and colleagues studiedÂ the delivery of government-sponsored primary education and primary health programmes in Udaipur, Rajasthan and came to some shocking conclusions.
Esther Duflo wondered whether there was anything that could be done about absentee teachers in rural India. She and colleague Rema Hanna tested the use of cameras to monitor teacher attendance (and salary incentives based on attendance records), and it worked.
Encouraging Teacher Attendance through Monitoring with Cameras in Rural India