Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- Tina Rosenberg asks in the New York Times Fixes column why the development world is so obsessed with innovation rather than spreading existing good ideas. She uses the example of the HIV-prevention org Young1ove, started by an MIT student who read about a promising RCT.
- Some resources:
- J-PAL has a guide to doing randomized controlled trials using administrative data. They’ve also put a ton of research resources including guides on how to randomize and sample code here.
- IPA’s new “Goldilocks” toolkit written with non-technical orgs in mind explains that RCTs aren’t always the best solution and gives resources for helping orgs figure out what data they should be collecting to monitor impact.
- As Chris posted, psychologists are arguing over whether there is a reproducibility crisis (you can get into the weeds here), but meanwhile, there’s a new Science paper on reproducibility of 18 econ papers published in AER and QJE:
We find a significant effect in the same direction as the original study for 11 replications (61%); on average the replicated effect size is 66% of the original. The reproducibility rate varies between 67% and 78% for four additional reproducibility indicators, including a prediction market measure of peer beliefs.
- In that vein, friends of ours are collecting case studies of data sharing through the Mozilla Science Foundation, submit your stories by March 10th.
- A lot of misinformation and scare stories are spreading surrounding refugees in Europe, but there are also interesting attempts to correct them. The Hoaxmap is a Snopes for scare stores about crimes supposedly committed by refugees, while the Mediterranean Rumor Tracker tries to find rumors spreading among refugees (such as which border crossings are open when) and correct them.
- Samantha Bee’s visit to a refugee camp in Jordan was pretty good.
- David Evans says baseline data is useful for other purposes (we’ve found they can be hugely beneficial to local policymakers).
- Panel data from India (PDF) suggests monitoring teachers to make sure they show up for work is 10 times more cost effective at lowering student:teacher ratio as hiring more teachers.
And, from SMBC: