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CategoriesBlog Post RCT Research

A MILLION-DINAR QUESTION: Can Cash Transfers Drive Economic Recovery in Conflict-Driven Crises?

Over the past twenty years, the use of cash transfers in development and humanitarian interventions has experienced exponential growth. Both evidence and ethics have contributed to its rise. Extensive research has demonstrated how cash transfers can serve as critical lifelines in both acute humanitarian emergencies and more stable development contexts, whilst also providing recipients with […]

New USAID Policy on Cost-Analysis in Impact Evaluations

USAID released a revised version of its policy on designing and implementing development projects and activities, governed by ADS Chapter 201. This is one of the largest revisions of the ADS in recent years and it includes some significant changes to the way USAID plans to operate its Program Cycle. One single sentence, in particular, stood out to us: All impact evaluations must include a cost-analysis of the intervention or interventions being studied (ADS 201.3.6.4) Economist Kristen Schubert discusses the changes, implications, and challenges for implementing partners…

CategoriesAnalysis Blog Post Research

Doing Business on the Navajo Nation: A Comprehensive Look at the Business Environment on the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation Context The Navajo Nation is sovereign territory with over 250,000 Navajo people occupying 27,000 square miles of the Colorado Plateau—spanning the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Driving through Diné Bikéyah, or Navajoland, you will see stunning southwestern landscapes rich with a cultural history sacred to the Diné people. What you […]

CategoriesBlog Post Opinion Research

DAC Coherence First Thoughts

The OECD-DAC recently added to its list of evaluation criteria—the de facto norm through which organizations like Causal Design frequently organize evaluations and reporting. Specifically, after a multi-year process of considering how to best adapt its existing criteria, OECD added Coherence: How well does the intervention fit? to the existing and remaining five criteria.

Reactions around our proverbial dinner table were appropriately mixed: How does this further a wider learning agenda? How does this differ from the existing Relevance? (which at times already overlaps with Sustainability) What does “fit” actually mean, and how do we use it, and meaningfully?

CategoriesAnalysis Research Resilience

Resilience Measurement Research

Our partners at Mercy Corps referenced some research that ODI recently did on real-time resilience measurement and analysis (see paper here) in Myanmar. It’s not everyday that you can track resilience measurement every two months for a panel of 1,200 households.

Good resilience measures can sometimes be a moving target, so any research that can be used to reinforce good thinking and expand beyond static binary is certainly welcome.

CategoriesResearch

SEEP 2017: Creating Commercial Farmers

Building scalable and sustainable food systems presents many challenges along farming value chains – not least of which is the point where our small holder famers interact with agricultural inputs. For an isolated farmer with limited education, making wise choices about farming can be challenging, meaning that many farmers fall short of the mark when it comes to running successful commercial enterprises.

CategoriesAnalysis Research Statistics

Grad Fellow Notes: Interaction Terms in STATA

While using hashtags is simpler than generating the interaction term as a new variable, there is a necessary rule to remember: use the variable prefixes. In Stata, -i.[variable]- indicates that the variable is categorical, and -c.[variable]- indicates a continuous variable. Because the hashtag code assumes the variables in the interaction term are categorical, it is necessary to define numerical variables as numerical with the -c.- prefix.
Wage = β0 + β1Education + β2Minority + β3Education*Minority + ε

CategoriesBlog Post Graduate Fellow RCT Research

Grad Fellow Notes: The Impact of “No Impact” Evaluations

With the steady rise of the number of impact evaluations (IEs) per year, it should come as no surprise that not every single IE will show a positive impact. The authors of “no impact” evaluations will understandably be worried that their work will not be academically published nor be used for public policy. There is, however, still value in such information. Evidence that a particular program does not work paves the way for alternative interventions to happen. Licona (2017) provides several examples where null results in Mexican education programs encouraged the tweaking of aspects such as selection criteria, consolidation of redundant programs, and budget optimization.

CategoriesResearch

What Next For Nepal?

From MercyCorps.org: We are excited to release Mercy Corps’ newest research, in partnership with Causal Design, bringing more evidence on how households and communities can be resilient in the face of crisis. What Next for Nepal?  Evidence of What Matters for Building Resilience After the Gorkha Earthquake When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in April […]