Monday , October 15 2018
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Impact Evaluations

Weekly links October 12: should you decide on ethics by polling, beware the uneven treatment probabilities, roads are good, and more…

Stephanie Schwartz asks “are research ethics a question of public opinion?” on the Political Violence at a glance blog -  which discusses a new study that asked both research subjects and scholars their opinions on the acceptability of different research designs. Interesting discussion, particularly around what to do when the two differ – e.g. “A human rights advocate wants their interview with a researcher to be on the record. But the researcher worries that disclosing the subject’s name...

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Can technology enable effective teacher coaching at scale?

Teachers are important. And many teachers in low- and middle-income countries would benefit from support to improve their pedagogical skills. But how to do it? Again and again, evidence suggests that short teacher trainings – usually held in a central location – don’t do much of anything to improve teacher practice. Likewise, much teacher training is overly theoretical and doesn’t translate into practical pedagogical improvements. Providing teachers with one-on-one coaching is a popular...

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Weekly links October 5: a new vision for social sciences in Science, doing development at non-R1, advice on jobs and on the media, and more…

Vision statement from Tage Rai, the new social and behavioral sciences editor for Science on what they are looking for: “I feel that our strength is the ability to bridge across social sciences in a way that very few outlets can and at a level that none can match. Therefore, we will be emphasizing papers that cross over major fields more strongly than ever before (e.g. psychology and anthropology, economics and political science, sociology and computer science).... The other major concern...

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Why does my daughter think she’s bad at math?

My daughter thinks math is hard.  She also thinks she is not good at it.  She is, by some set of objective measures, actually quite good at it.   But she keeps repeating this mantra to me when we are sitting there slogging through her homework.   I tried all kind of positive reinforcement and then, one day, I sat her down, and explained that there is a widely held gender bias belief about girls doing worse in math.   It didn’t really make a difference.     A neat new paper by Alex Eble and...

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Doing Development Economics at a Liberal Arts College Part Two

Following on from yesterday’s post on doing development economics at a Liberal Arts college, we have a second post today to get additional perspectives. One point I wanted to note is that I think that while the post is about liberal arts colleges, many of the same issues will arise for people teaching in universities in other countries that don’t have large PhD programs, as well as some of the same issues also face researchers at the World Bank and other development research careers outside...

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Doing Development Economics at a Liberal Arts College Part One

With the job market coming up, me giving a talk to a great group of faculty and development students at Williams College last week, and seeing a program for the recent LACDEV conference, I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit about life as a development economist at a liberal arts college. I asked four faculty at different schools for some thoughts, thinking I might get two to agree, but was very pleased to get excellent insights from all four. They noted there is considerable...

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Weekly links September 28: the peril of meetings, endogenous responses mess up big data uses, what 600+ development papers tells you about our field, and more…

Bad news for those who have relied on NIH for doing human subjects training. They have stopped offering free training, and are currently designing a new training that will cost $40 and be available November 6. Twitter is recommending either the Global Health Training Centre free online course or the FHI Research Ethics Training Curriculum as possible alternatives if you need something now, or want something that is free. Andrew Gelman offers a nice reminder of why asking people to do...

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Make Your Research Known – 10 Tools to Increase Consumption of Your Research

Many researchers hope that their research will have some impact on policy. Research can impact policy directly: A policymaker uses the results of your study in making a policy decision. For direct policy impact, policymakers – or the people who advise them or the people who vote for them – have to know about your work. Research can also impact policy indirectly: Your research becomes part of a body of evidence which collectively affects future policy decisions. For indirect policy impact,...

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Is your education program benefiting the most vulnerable students?

Just about every article or report on education that we read these days – and some that we’ve written – bemoan the quality of education in low- and middle-income countries. The World Bank’s World Development Report 2018 devoted an entire, well-documented chapter to “the many faces of the learning crisis.” Recent reports on education in Latin America and in Africa make the same point. But within low- and middle-income countries, not all education is created equal, and not all students face...

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Weekly links September 21: scholarship labels, designing for spillovers, does your paper have a bande dessinée version? And more…

Merit-based or needs-based scholarships? Over at Let’s Talk Development, Dave Evans discusses the power of labels for school scholarships, based on 9-year results in Cambodia by Barrera, de Barros, and Filmer. The declare design team has another blog, this time illustrating designing for spillovers, and how you have to be careful about what estimand you are after. Are regular paper abstracts too wordy? Dan Rogger tries a comic strip abstract for his recent working paper on politics,...

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