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Impact Note
December 2022

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What is Cash Good For?

As unconditional cash transfers have exploded in popularity around the world, researchers have begun leveraging their scale and demonstrated impacts to assess the cost-effectiveness of traditional development interventions. CEGA is excited to share insights from a portfolio of studies, spanning four countries and five years—implemented through the Development Impact Lab (DIL) in partnership with USAID, GiveDirectly, IPA, and others—that shed light on the usefulness of cash as a benchmark for the development community. Importantly, the studies highlight how the inclusion of high-quality cost data and cost-effectiveness analysis in impact evaluations can make each dollar go further.
Read our key takeaways from the DIL Cash Benchmarking portfolio.


Planning for African Clean Energy

COP27 closed with a win for damage and loss funds for vulnerable countries most affected by climate change. CEGA Fellow Abdulrasheed Isah and coauthors explain why more evidence on Africa's energy and economic needs, alongside bold policymaking, are needed to develop country-specific plans and accelerate climate progress.


Decreasing Hunger by Increasing AgTech

Reflecting on global progress against the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2022 Goalkeepers Report argues for greater investment in the research and development of agricultural technologies to curb global hunger. Tavneet Suri and Christopher Udry of the CEGA co-managed Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), explain the constraints faced by agricultural technology in Africa. 

Gates Archive

Paving the Way to Prosperity

Paul Gertler and coauthors trace the impact of investing in road maintenance on economic development in Indonesia, finding better roads lead to increases in household consumption, employment, wages, and job creation, while reducing the prices of perishable foods.



A Failure to Communicate

With support from the CEGA co-managed Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), Jonathan Robinson and coauthors study the failure of standard communication practices to increase the transmission of new agricultural technologies. Over a decade in the making, they advocate for simpler, more transparent, and communicative technologies.


Protecting Mothers from Labor Mortality 

Obstructed labor is a leading cause of maternal mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). CEGA Fellow Getachew Kassa and coauthors review 87 studies to determine the maternal and perinatal outcomes of obstructed labor in Ethiopia and provide policy recommendations for reducing rates, including greater capacity-building to handle obstetric emergencies.


Improving Survey Accuracy

While multiple price lists can elicit participant preferences and willingness to pay in field studies, some choice patterns can produce high rates of error that existing measurement approaches fail to mitigate. Kelsey Jack and coauthors propose a new model that detects bias and accounts for error. 



  • Carson Christiano explores a portfolio of cash benchmarking studies that compare the impact of cash transfers to traditional development interventions.
  • Monica Ellwood-Lowe shares results from two studies about patterns of brain activity for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.


Visit CEGA's event page or our YouTube channel to watch videos of past events. Videos are typically posted within one week of the event date.


BITSS Annual Meeting: March 3, 2023

The BITSS Annual Meeting brings together actors from academia, scholarly publishing, and policy to share novel research and discuss efforts to improve the credibility of social science by advancing research transparency, reproducibility, rigor, and ethics. For more information and to submit a paper, see the event page.



WGAPE Regional Meeting at UC Berkeley: March 3-4, 2023

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) convenes faculty and advanced graduate students in economics and political science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. WGAPE meetings center on research discussion sessions rather than presentations. For more information and to submit a paper, see the event page.


PacDev 2023: March 18, 2023

The Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev) convenes researchers and practitioners to discuss work that enhances our understanding of economic development, advances theoretical and empirical methods, and improves development interventions and policy. For more information and to submit a paper, see the event page.

Magalie L'Abbe

Psychology and Economics of Poverty Annual Convening: April 14, 2023

A growing body of research is revealing new insights into the psychological consequences of poverty and its impacts on social and economic development. CEGA will bring researchers, implementing partners, and policymakers together to share original work in this space. For more information and to submit a paper, see the event page.


Open Research Seminar: Spring 2023

The CEGA-managed Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) will host a webinar series to promote the use of tools for transparency and reproducibility in social science research. Researchers will showcase applications of specific practices or evaluations of the effectiveness of existing tools. For more information and to submit a proposal, see the event page.


Hiring: Predoctoral Fellows, Transparency

CEGA seeks two predoctoral fellows to evaluate the impact of reporting guidelines and resource incentives on reporting practices and publication outcomes of pre-registered research projects with the aim of improving the transparency and reproducibility of social science research. To apply, see the listing.

Hiring: Interns, Global Networks

CEGA seeks two interns to support its Global Networks program. One role will support the Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) and Collaboration for Inclusive Development Research (CIDR) initiatives. The second role will support the CEGA Fellowship program. To apply, see the listing.

About CEGA 


Research. Inspire. Change.

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research, training, and innovation headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. We generate insights that leaders can use to improve policies, programs, and people’s lives. Our academic network includes more than 150 faculty, 65 scholars from low- and middle-income countries, and hundreds of graduate students–from across academic disciplines and across the globe–that produce rigorous evidence about what works to expand education, health, and economic opportunities for people living in poverty. 

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