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Impact Note
March 2022

Credit: Esmad (Flickr)

CEGA Launches New Initiative on Conflict and Security

How do countries achieve peace, stability, and security after a conflict? Why do some governments regain control, while others continue to compete for authority? These questions are relevant for many countries around the world and often have direct implications for their citizens’ social and economic wellbeing. To explore such questions, CEGA has launched a new initiative on Conflict and Security. Led by affiliated professor, Aila Matanock, and with support from the Minerva Research Initiative of the US Department of Defense, the initiative’s first study focuses on post-conflict security, particularly the relationships between states, rebel groups, and citizens across Latin America.

MEDIA

No Child Left Behind?

NPR features research from Hilary Hoynes, Faculty Director of the Opportunity Lab (O-Lab), a hub for domestic research supported by CEGA. Hoynes and coauthors explain how despite reductions in poverty, the Child Tax Credit expired because American policymakers prioritize the costs of social programs over their benefits.


Photo: Brittani Burns

Death Count Rises

DownToEarth reviews a new study from affiliated professor Pascaline Dupas and coauthor Radhika Jain who correlated disruptions in dialysis care with non-COVID-19 deaths during the 2020 lockdown in Rajasthan. Their research indicates that one month after the lockdown, mortality rates were 64% higher than usual. 


Photo: iStock

Fratzscher vs. Miguel

“Systematic cultural change is needed within economics,” says CEGA Faculty Co-Director Edward Miguel, as he talks to Marcel Fratzscher for INOMICS about recent trends in economics, how economics research can shape policy-making on wealth taxes and COVID-19, and how to tackle gender bias.


Photo: INOMICS

Cheaper, Faster, and Better Policy-Making

Rigorous, research-based evidence helps decision-makers produce better policy – in a faster and cheaper way. The Hewlett Foundation explains how organizations like CEGA work directly with policymakers to shape research agendas and ensure findings are implemented.


Photo: John Wessels

FEATURED POLICY IMPACT


Photo: BRAC

Targeting the Ultra-Poor in South Sudan

In 2012, CEGA established the BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative (BCLC), a research partnership with BRAC, the largest non-governmental development organization in the world. With funding from BCLC, affiliated professor Ethan Ligon and coauthor Munshi Sulaiman compared BRAC’s “Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP)” program in South Sudan to unconditional cash transfers, finding TUP beneficiaries coped better with short-term economic crises. Their research has led to BRAC reshaping their strategy for implementing graduation programs in new contexts and the development of a disability-inclusive poverty alleviation project in Uganda, where 15% of the participants were people with disabilities.

RESEARCH

CEGA Welcomes New Affiliates

We are proud to add three new affiliates to our 140-strong network of faculty across the West Coast of North America: Prachi Jain (Economics, Loyola Marymount University), Mark Buntaine (Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara), and Soledad Artiz Prillaman (Political Science, Stanford University).


Photo: CEGA

Ending COVID-19 in LMICs

In a new Science article, CEGA Faculty Co-Director Edward Miguel, Postdoctoral Researcher Aleksandra Jakubowski, Mushfiq Mobarak, and coauthors present nine studies dedicated to understanding the challenges with decreasing COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as strategies to increase masking, vaccine uptake, and other preventive behaviors.


Photo: MD Manik

Best Resources for Cost-effectiveness

Cost evidence is essential for deciding how scarce resources can best be used to alleviate poverty. CEGA Program Manager Sam Fishman, Staff Scientist Elizabeth Brown, and coauthors from CEGA’s Costing Community of Practice compile and compare the ten best resources for cost-effectiveness analysis for impact evaluations.


Photo: Christian Dubovan

Rice to Riches

Fortifying rice with various micronutrients like iron and zinc can stave off malnutrition and increase household productivity and health. 2013 CEGA Fellow Reajul Chowdhury and coauthors analyze different strategies to fortify rice and legal and regulatory challenges associated with increasing their use. 


Photo: Sandy Ravaloniaina

Working Papers

  • Alex Imas, Michael A. Kuhn, and Vera Mironova trace the relationship between exposure to violence and myopia in the DRC, finding vulnerable populations are more likely to redeem an asset at its minimum value.
  • Etienne Le Rossigno, Sara Lowes, and Nathan Nunn study attitudes towards traditional supernatural beliefs and find that individuals in the DRC are less likely to act prosocially towards those who believe strongly in witchcraft.
  • Aleksandra Jakubowski, Dennis Egger, Ronald Mulebeke, and coauthors evaluate whether a national mask distribution campaign in Uganda increased public mask use, especially when coupled with an educational program. 

BLOG POSTS

  • Kristina Hallez introduces the East Bay Financial Needs Study, which evaluates whether alleviating financial scarcity via cash transfers increases engagement between parents and children.

EVENTS

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: Mega Caesaria

April 1: Psychology and Economics of Poverty Convening 2022

New, interdisciplinary research is uncovering how facets of our psychology impact decision-making, with downstream consequences for health, economic outcomes, and well-being. This work is especially important in the context of poverty and resource scarcity, where findings can be used to design programs that improve lives. This convening will bring together researchers, implementing partners, and policymakers to share original work. For more information and to register, see the event page.

Photo: Tom Perry

May 11: MeasureDev 2022: The Role of Mobile Data in Global Development Research

CEGA and the World Bank Group will host Measuring Development 2022: The Role of Mobile Data in Global Development Research in Washington, DC, where we’ll explore how researchers and policymakers are using mobile data to conduct innovative research to solve global challenges. Participants are invited to join our adjacent Geospatial Analysis for Development (Geo4Dev) workshops on Thursday, May 12th, which will feature novel applications of satellite data for 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.

OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Seeking Submissions for WGAPE Meeting at the University of Rwanda

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group invites scholars to submit a paper to present at the Annual WGAPE Meeting, held this year in Kigali, Rwanda from June 27-28, 2022. The submission deadline is March 15. Africa based scholars are additionally welcome to apply as meeting participants, with or without a paper submission. For more information, see the announcement

Seeking Proposals for Digital Credit Observatory Funding

As digital financial services (DFS) continue to evolve and expand in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), there remains a dearth of evidence on how DFS affects the welfare of highly diverse population segments. This Request for Proposals seeks to bolster the evidence base on DFS to inform important regulatory, policy, and product design decisions for the sector. The Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) has $900K to spend on impact evaluation research over the next three years. We anticipate funding 4-8 projects during this time. The DCO invites proposals for studies that speak to the short- or long-run impacts of digital credit on consumer welfare. For more information, see the announcement

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.

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