Is the development sector succumbing to the ‘attribution’ pressure?

Without a doubt, there is pressure on development agencies to 'demonstrate' what they have achieved (results), and further, whether these results have been achieved in a cost-effective manner (value for money). Theories of change are constructed to strip away the fluff and depict attributable causal chains. In the process, some of these agencies sometimes face …

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Defending Liberia’s right to experiment, and a few questions

Liberia continues to attract criticism for its Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) pilot. Here is a recent news report  already pronouncing the verdict on the programme: Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE) said in its report released last week Wednesday that the PPP is gradually but emphatically proving to be a failure and …

A view on Hope; and a pertinent question to randomistas

...What concerns me is that the direct interventions that are targeted towards addressing such psycho-social constraints are not highlighted or even mentioned as they are not neat enough for RCT measurement. Instead the reliance is on the outcome variables and a black box of intervention package which is not very helpful for intervention design. Short …

Insights into female voting behaviour in rural Pakistan

Chris Blattman flags a new World Bank paper by Ghazala Mansuri and Xavier Gine. The authors find that information dissemination (of the nature of pre-election voting awareness camapigns) increased voting among women by about 12% on average. Alongside this enhanced political participation, women also displayed greater degrees of independent decision-making when it came to voting for their chosen …