Brief 42: Understanding the Failure of a Randomized Trial to Deepen Democracy in Rural India

This paper uses both a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and ethnography to evaluate the impact of a treatment consisting of three phased interventions at the GP level: 1) a one-week citizen engagement program culminating in the codification of village priorities in a village action plan; 2) meetings with local bureaucrats to secure funding and technical support for projects outlined in this plan; and 3) two years of monitoring and assistance with the implementation of these projects by state representatives known as Resource Persons (RPs).

English

Brief 40: Development Assistance and Collective Action Capacity

In 2006, the UK government and the International Rescue Committee funded and implemented Community-Driven Reconstruction (CDR) projects across Liberia. Under these projects, a number of local councils throughout Liberia were given the chance to choose infrastructure projects for their villages and to implement their construction.

English

Brief 39: Attitudes Towards Risk and Illegal Behavior

First, subjects were surveyed on a variety of topics, including their main sources of income, attitudes towards the law, and whether they had ever broken any laws concerning limits on fishing. The survey also included questions on whether they had ever fished more than official quotas allowed. Approximately one third of respondents either admitted to overfishing, or to being charged with overfishing.

English

Brief 35: Reducing Reconvictions Among Released Prisoners

To study the effectiveness of the Citizenship program on offenders of different risk profiles, the researchers used a stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT). The Citizenship program was introduced to six offices in the new probation area of Teeside, U.K. during 2007-2008. The sample encompassed 1,091 offenders, with 395 assigned to Citizenship and 696 assigned to control.

English

Brief 33: Property Rights and Trust

The researchers study a program that randomly assigned land property rights to small semi-nomadic herder groups in Mongolia: the Peri-Urban Rangeland Property Rights Project (PURP), financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The Mongolian government provided long-term exclusive leases of rangeland plots, basic infrastructure, and training in herd and rangeland management to the treated herder groups during October/November 2011. The herder groups have four households on average. 

English

Brief 31: How to Handle Rumors

To test different strategies of correcting misinformation about the “death panel” rumor regarding the ACA, Berinsky conducted two online survey experiments. The first compared subjects’ beliefs about the death panel rumor after receiving no information, information about the rumor, or information plus corrections. The second experiment studied the effect of reinforcing the rumor.

English

Brief 29: Race and Political Responsiveness in South Africa

In July 2011, emails were successfully sent to 1,229 black and white politicians from four South African provinces. Employing email as the method of communication was meant to control socioeconomic bias. Between group inequality is high in South Africa and unless given other indications, a councillor might assume a black constituent is poorer or less well educated than a white constituent. Having access to email and using grammatically correct English signified that constituents, regardless of race, were socioeconomically similar.

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Brief 27: ICT and Politicians in Uganda

The experiment aimed to test hypotheses regarding underlying demand for mobile-based communication with one’s representatives in Parliament in Uganda, as well as the price effect on demand, and how both demand and price effects vary across social groups.

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Brief 25: Why do People Volunteer?

The “Endorsement Project” explores the effectiveness of email endorsements, specifically whether students are more likely to respond to a politician’s, a peer’s, or a celebrity’s call to action. “Giving Time” researchers composed three emails, each containing an endorsement by one of these three types of advocates. The student bodies of five universities, totaling more than 100,000 students, were then divided into three groups, each of which was sent one of the three endorsements.

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Brief 24: Reducing Elite Capture in the Solomon Islands

The intervention was carried out during June to August of 2013, in 80 villages selected randomly in equal proportions from the Islands’ four main provinces. In each village, nine women and nine men were randomly selected to act as participants in the implementation of a community project. The eighteen were joined by one male and one female perceived by the community as holding a high social position, designated as ‘leaders’.

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