View this email in your browser

Impact Note
April 2022

Credit: Grace Makana and Karen Levy at the 2019 Africa Evidence Summit in Nairobi, Kenya | CEGA

New CIDR Initiative Examines the State of Inclusion in Global Development Research

CEGA has launched the Collaboration for Inclusive Development Research (CIDR), a new initiative co-led with the Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa (NIERA). Over two years, CIDR will examine the state of inclusion of African scholars in the generation of evidence for policy making, and identify remaining barriers and promising solutions. CEGA and NIERA will use CIDR findings to inform recommendations for diverse stakeholders including donors, practitioners, African governments and universities, US-based researchers, journal editors, and others interested in shifting norms and practices to achieve greater equity — and better outcomes — for development research.


A Triumph for Targeting

Featured in the latest cover issue of Nature, CEGA Faculty Co-Director Josh Blumenstock, in partnership with the government of Togo and GiveDirectly, explains how he used machine learning and satellite imagery to inform the targeting of aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. African Arguments analyzes this and other targeting approaches and the Brookings Institution details how Blumenstock's was more accurate and inclusive than other methods available. He and coauthor Emily Aiken also spoke to Nature, Berkeley News, and The Conversation about their work.

Photo: Nature

Lasering in on Growth

A new piece in NASA’s Earth Observatory blog describes how CEGA affiliated professor David Lobell uses lasers on the International Space Station to map crop growth on Earth. In a CEGA-supported study, Lobell used this remote sensing technique to estimate the yields of smallholder crops in Africa. Lobell and coauthors also leveraged learnings from this study to start Atlas AI, a company which combines satellite imagery and AI to produce market insights on sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo: NASA

A Win for Water

Ashok Gadgil, researcher affiliated with the CEGA co-managed Development Impact Lab (DIL), recently received the inaugural Zuckerberg Water Prize, in recognition of his impact on the field of water and contributions to the field of Development Engineering (DevEng). With DIL funding, Gadgil and his team developed and scaled Electro-Chemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) technology, which provides clean water to thousands in India and has the potential to reach millions.

Photo: Adam Lau


Photo: Benar News

Migrating Safely and Effectively

In 2014, as part of the BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative (BCLC), CEGA supported a BRAC study on their Safe Migration Program, which evaluated whether the providing risk mitigation information and training to potential migrants increased successful migration. Despite reductions in risks to unsafe migrations, the study yielded no statistically significant impact on overall migration success or salary received abroad. As a result, BRAC shifting its approach, redesigning its migrant-support programs and scaling a migration loan program and intervention for unsuccessful returning migrants, which instead provides community support, training, grants, and job placement support.


Lighting Up Wealth

Affiliated professor Gordon McCord and coauthor Mario Rodriguez-Heredia use nightlights imagery and data from neighboring countries to produce subnational GDP estimates for Paraguay and measure progress against the sustainable development goals.

Photo: Harvepino

Livestock Lifts Livelihoods 

2012 CEGA Fellow Narayan Das and coauthors estimate the impact of providing female members of ultra-poor households in West Bengal, India with livestock asset transfers, finding that transfers increase income, in addition to food security, consumption, livestock assets, and cultivable lands.

Photo: Steven Walling

Machine Learning for Health

Affiliated professor Ziad Obermeyer and coauthors apply machine learning techniques to health data on the frequency of tests ordered by physicians, finding substantial overtesting when comparing algorithmic predictions to physicians’ decisions. Obermeyer and coauthors also present a guide for health insurers on areas where bias in machine learning exists and strategies to overcome it. See his related talk on about machine learning, health, and development at CEGA’s 2021 Measuring Development conference.

Photo: Nature

Working Papers

  • Daniel Björkegren, Josh Blumenstock, and coauthors report the results of a randomized evaluation of a digital loan product in Nigeria, finding access to digital credit substantially increases subjective well-being and has no large short-term impacts on other welfare measures. 
  • Teevrat Garg, Caterina Gennaioli, Stefania Lovo, and Gregor Singer study community competition for public funds in Indonesia, finding higher competition reduces conflict between districts. 
  • Edward Miguel, Sarah Stillman, Abdulrazzak Tamim, and coauthors present data from the Syrian Refugee Life Study, which tracks variables including health, social capital, and safety perceptions. 


  • Pascaline Dupas, Jonathan Robinson, and Valentina Brailovskaya analyze the welfare effects of access to digital credit in Malawi and review similar studies in Kenya and Nigeria.
  • Alix Schoback details three CEGA projects that have improved community access to clean, safe water and sanitation in recognition of World Water Day 2022. 
  • Sam Fishman describes how CEGA’s Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI), which promotes the generation of more and better cost evidence and transparency of cost data, can identify better opportunities for social impact funding.


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.

Photo: Tom Perry

May 11: MeasureDev 2022

CEGA and the World Bank Group will host Measuring Development 2022: The Role of Mobile Data in Global Development Research at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. The conference will explore how researchers and policymakers are using mobile data to conduct innovative research to inform policy and solve global challenges. Alongside MeasureDev, participants are invited to join our Geospatial Analysis for Development (Geo4Dev) workshops on Thursday, May 12th, which will train participants in novel applications of satellite data for various types of development research. For more information and to register, see the event page.

Photo: Olive Aseno

June 29-30: 2022 Africa Evidence Summit

CEGA's 10th Annual Africa Evidence Summit in Kigali, Rwanda will bring together our network of East and West African scholars, U.S.-based faculty, policymakers, and practitioners to disseminate the latest research findings from the region and forge new connections. We are delighted to partner with the Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa (NIERA), the University of Rwanda (UR), and CEGA’s Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) to host this event. For more information and to register, see the event page.


Hiring Program Manager, Data Science for Development

We’re seeking a Program Manager to lead our data science for development (DS4D) sector, which brings together research initiatives and activities that facilitate the use of novel data sources and data science tools for addressing issues of global poverty. To apply, see the listing.

Hiring Software and Data Engineer

In coordination with the Global Policy Lab, we’re seeking a full-time Software and Data Engineer to help us tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The exact role and responsibilities will depend on your strengths and interests, but examples of projects include: open source software development and repository management, large-scale data engineering, back-end ops, and front-end software development. To apply, see the listing.

Hiring Associate, Operations and People

Are you motivated by CEGA’s mission? Are you interested in gaining a big-picture view of the operations work required to run an effective, dynamic organization? We’re seeking an associate to lead our office management activities and help cultivate a culture of workplace safety, camaraderie, and fun. The associate will also support CEGA’s talent management strategy, including recruitment, DEI, student services, and onboarding. To apply, see the listing.

Hiring Associate Director, Communications and Policy Engagement

We’re seeking a creative, ambitious, and mission-driven communications professional to develop and implement a new communications and policy engagement strategy for CEGA. This full-time role will lead the Center’s communications and external engagement. Communications is critical to CEGA’s mission, ensuring that our research is used by policymakers and others to improve lives, while amplifying our credibility and visibility among key audiences. To apply, see the listing.

Hiring Part-time Full Stack Developer, Social Science Prediction Platform

CEGA’s Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) is seeking a part-time full-stack engineer to work on refining the Social Science Prediction Platform (SSPP). The engineer will work part-time (10-15 hrs/week) and start as soon as possible. To apply, see the listing.

About CEGA 


Research. Inspire. Change.

CEGA is the West Coast hub for research on global development. Headquartered at UC Berkeley, CEGA’s large, interdisciplinary research network—including a growing number of scholars from low- and middle-income countries—identifies and tests innovations designed to reduce poverty and promote development. Our researchers use rigorous methods as well as novel measurement tools—including wireless sensors, mobile data, and analytics—to evaluate complex programs. Through careful matchmaking, competitive grantmaking, and research dissemination activities, CEGA ensures that the research we produce is relevant, timely, and actionable to policymakers.

Support Us

Join our family of donors by making a gift to CEGA that’s meaningful to you. Your gift of any size improves the lives of people affected by poverty through innovative research, training for developing country researchers and graduate students, and targeted outreach efforts.
Learn more at

Visit our website and social media to learn more about us.

Copyright © 2022 Center for Effective Global Action, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can unsubscribe from the CEGA Newsletter or unsubscribe from all CEGA newsletters.