Jessica Creighton
December 14, 2011

The drum beats in the distance grow louder and the warmth of the flames tickles my arms and face.  Dancers around me shimmy at a moderate speed to the rhythm of their own drums awaiting the arrival of the parade of participants from the nearby village. As the two groups merge into one around the bonfire, the sound of the competing drums becomes deafening and the dancing reaches a frenzied pace.

As the evening goes on, I listen to the retelling of countless stories from the decade-long war in Sierra Leone. It’s an intense experience—and it represents one of many approaches aiding the...

April 13, 2011

"The World Development Report has now been released, and its focus is very much in line with the current of development thought right now: fragile states. It could only have been more de rigueur if it had been all about randomised evaluations." Ranil at AidThoughts will no doubt be pleased to learn that IPA is launching a new research initiative to draw together academics working in the field and organizations implementing peace-building activities to develop new randomized evaluations on post conflict recovery and fragile states. The last 10 years has generated a considerable amount of hard...
Christopher Blattman, Julian Jamison, Margaret Sheridan
December 27, 2010

Chris Blattman describes an update on one of his projects with IPA in Liberia:

Helen, the research assistant overseeing the targeting, surveying, and behavioral measurement emails me on progress:

…surprisingly none of our equipment disappeared and none of our enumerators were juked, harassed or hustled from.

On two different occasions in the past week our respondents allegedly stole from community members–some tennis shoes and a blind man’s radio–so at least anecdotally we’ve got the right guys.

We also had one mobilizer visit a respondent in jail (for stabbing...

Christopher Blattman, Jeannie Annan, Robert Blair
November 26, 2010

Chris Blattman is off to Liberia to check in on a couple of projects being implemented with IPA. I'm pretty sure our excellent field staff will have everything under control.

One project is a study on a training program for former civil war combatants, another an evaluation of a peace education program. If you thought that RCTs couldn't do governance, you thought wrong.


Media Coverage
July 08, 2010

IPA Researcher Chris Blattman's evaluation of an intervention aimed at Street Youth in Liberia is covered by the BBC's The World program. 

Listen to the audio here, including interviews with Liberia Country Director Tricia Gonwa and Professor Blattman.

"So you're asking: How does somebody recover from being conscripted and having to kill their family members. And I think recover is the wrong word. You don't... Recovering is not the goal. It's like when people ask me, so, how is alleviating poverty? How's that going? You have to actually narrow it...

Jeannie Annan, Christopher Blattman, Eric Green, Julian Jamison
August 05, 2009

Check out this post in the New York Times' Freakonomics Blog Dwyer Gunn's time tagging along with the research team for the WINGS project in Uganda.

"I went to northern Uganda to observe an economic experiment - a randomized program intervention focused on highly vulnerable women in the region. The program, Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS), is being implemented by the Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI) and will provide the women with grants and business training. Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS), is being implemented by the Association of...

Amos Odero
Jeannie Annan, Christopher Blattman, Eric Green, Julian Jamison
June 30, 2009

Fieldwork is not all fun and games, but that seems to be the recent experience for IPA Research Affiliate Chris Blattman's project evaluation, "Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS) Program" 

In two recent blog posts, he describes how including behavioral games (with cash prizes!) as part of their survey has practically turned his experiments team into a "roving casino",  then goes on to describe the very public randomization lottery that they held to select the treatment and control villages.