Chris Blattman

IPA’s Weekly Links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

  • My colleagues in the methods department at IPA have an RFP out for awards of up to $20,000 for studies to improve methods, generalizability, transparency and the like. Deadline Feb 28th.
  • 26 co-authors published a paper using 16 samples of household surveys of 30,000 people in 9 countries to assess impact of last spring’s COVID disruptions. As you can imagine, it was grave, with losses of income, and hunger—including in children—at alarming levels. A number of co-authors and other scholars, along with IPA, J-PAL, CEGA, Y-RISE and the ICG have signed onto a joint statement calling for more attention from the international community to social safety nets in low-income countries and fighting the economic impacts of the virus.
  • Peterman, Schwab, Roy, Hidrobo, and Gilligan have a paper showing in Ecuador, Uganda, and Yemen that small wording changes in how researchers ask about women’s decisionmaking (in the context of aid programs) can make big differences in the conclusion (Peterman and Seymour discuss the difficulty of coming up with standardized measurements of women’s agency more here). And on the Dev Impact Blog Markus Goldstein summarizes a new approach to measuring women’s agency from Jayachandran, Biradavolu, and Cooper who use machine learning combined with qualitative semi-structured interviews to come up with a five question measure of women’s agency in Northern India.
  • A number of professors are taking advantage of remote teaching to open their classes up to students from low- and middle-income countries (as I understand, just to sit in informally, not for credit). Potential teachers and students can browse and sign up at please share with friends who might benefit from it!
  • The Continent is a free and really readable news digest of Africa-related stories, this week’s lead story is about how Tanzania has declared it has no COVID-19 cases, and the consequences of the government’s denial for people there.
  • Podcasts:
  • The University of Edinburgh has two full scholarships for African students interested in studying African studies there, starting with a one-year master’s degree that leads into a Ph.D. (deadline March 31).
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