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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.


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.


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’.


Brief 19: Generating Citizen Activism

Uwezo’s annual assessment and outreach is already randomly implemented among Kenyan villages and households. The authors identify a set of villages that were not chosen to participate in Uwezo to compare to those that were. These (control) villages are selected to be as close as possible to the Uwezo villages across a range of characteristics that might be related to citizen action. The authors then administer a survey to both groups and compare the results.


Brief 18: Does a Mexican healthcare program really help the poor?

The experiment randomly determined who received the treatment, this group is called the “treatment cluster” and who did not, called the “control cluster.” The households living within the treatment clusters were encouraged to apply for the health care package, while families living within the control clusters were offered nothing extra, and stayed with the usual for-pay care.


Brief 15: Is it the cash or condition in Malawi?

The experiment took place in the Zomba District of Malawi. Treatments were assigned randomly by Enumeration Areas (EAs), which are groups of 250 households spanning several villages. EAs include both urban and rural areas. The first treatment group, consisting of a random subset of girls and their families in 46 EAs, was offered money for regularly attending school, while the second treatment group received cash without any stipulations. There was also a control group that did not receive any form of cash, conditional or otherwise.


Brief 10: Accountability and Collective Action in Albania

This study investigates whether, both at the individual level and at the district level, willingness to cooperate with others for the common good is associated with parents’ willingness to participate in school accountability institutions (a “short route” to accountability) and to vote in the most recent parliamentary elections (a “long route” to accountability).


Brief 07: Do Party Politics Undermine Ethnic Quotas?

This study employs two different research designs to test the impact of ethnic quotas. First, the researchers take advantage of a peculiarity in the quota system, which creates a so-called “natural experiment.” Villages take turns reserving seats for disadvantaged castes, and during each election cycle certain pairs of villages have a nearly random chance of being selected or not for quotas. While this “natural experiment” is not a true field experiment, the researchers present evidence that this technique comes close to an experimental randomization.


Brief 06: Voter Benchmarks in Developing Countries

The sample is 95 rural communes, each consisting of approximately 18 villages averaging 1000 inhabitants each (though only 6 villages were randomly selected into the sample). Of the communes, 31 were randomly assigned to the control group, 32 to the first treatment group, and 32 to a second treatment group. There were 370 treated villages in total. The first treatment group was given two civics courses that taught participants about local governments’ responsibilities in providing public goods.



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