Center for Effective Global Action
November 2016 - Impact Note

Do Matching Shoe Donations Improve Well-being?
Photo by Keelin

Research by CEGA affiliate Bruce Wydick (USF) and co-authors on the effectiveness of TOMS shoes' "one for one" policy was recently featured in the Economist . The study finds no effect of free shoes on children's shoe ownership, overall health or self-esteem, and finds an increase in aid-dependent attitudes among shoe recipients. Results have influenced TOMS to adjust its strategy, tying product purchase to interventions with larger impact.

Development Engineering Awarded $3M from National Science Foundation

The Development Engineering (Dev Eng) degree program at UC Berkeley has been awarded a $3M grant from the National Science Foundation to grow the effort first established in 2014 by CEGA and the Blum Center . The funding will support graduate students who are conducting innovative research to address major challenges in food, energy, and water systems.

CEGA Releases White Paper on Institutional Reform

In November, CEGA released a synthesis report reviewing nearly 200 studies on governance and public institutions in low-income countries. Authored by Scientific Directors Ernesto Dal Bó and Fred Finan , the paper identifies 40 open research questions addressing neglected topics in government performance, accountability, and citizen participation. The review is part of CEGA's Economic Development and Institutions (EDI) initiative, which provides competitive funding for randomized evaluations testing new ideas at the frontier of governance and institutional reform.

New Animated Videos Highlight "Tech for Dev"

Screen shot from DIL's GSM White Spaces video 
The Development Impact Lab (DIL) has released two new videos describing innovations by CEGA affiliates at the intersection of technology and international development. Featured projects include GridWatch , a crowdsourcing platform for monitoring electricity outages, and GSM White Spaces , a new technology for delivering voice and SMS services to low-income communities.


ATAI Featured at USDA/USAID World Food Prize Event

Photo by Ofir Reich
This month the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI) hosted an event at the USDA-USAID International Food Security and Assistance Conference in Iowa, held on the sidelines of the 2016 World Food Prize. The meeting featured presentations from CEGA Scientific Director Craig McIntosh and ATAI staff, providing practical examples of how randomized evaluations are used to inform policy decisions. You can explore all ATAI-funded projects online .

Energy Research and Matchmaking Conference in DC

Photo by Alexandra Wall 
On November 3 and 4, CEGA hosted a matchmaking conference in Washington, DC to solicit policy-maker feedback on the research agenda for the Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) initiative, a program funded by the UK government. The event engaged 90 policy-makers, practitioners, and academics from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to discuss topics of critical importance to the energy sector.

Training for Open Science in Kenya

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) was featured in the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Observer last month, in a review of a summer 2016 workshop for African researchers hosted jointly by BITSS and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Kenya. The article, authored by BITSS Advisor Jennifer Sturdy and Catalyst Stephanie Wkystra , provides resources for researchers interested in carrying out more reproducible research.


Why Don't Caretakers Use ORS Salts to Treat Child Diarrhea?

Photo by Zachary Wagner
In 2013, diarrhea killed more than 500,000 children worldwide (mostly in sub-Saharan Africa). Many of these deaths could have been prevented with a simple, cheap "technology": sugar, salt and water. A new study funded by the East Africa Social Science Translation Collaborative (EASST) -- and led by EASST fellow John Bosco Asiimwe -- seeks to identify the barriers to wider use of oral rehydration salts (ORS) in Uganda. The multi-arm randomized evaluation tests both price and access to ORS across 4,760 households. Preliminary results suggest that ORS use increased from 56% at baseline to 94% at endline as a result of pilot interventions.

Effects of India's Emergency Medical System

Photo by Direct Relief
A new study in Health Affairs by CEGA Affiliate Grant Miller (Stanford) and co-authors examines the health impacts of the Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK EMRI), a public/private partnership providing free 911-like emergency response and ambulance services throughout India. In a summary of findings from 2 states, they report that emergency services reduced neonatal and infant mortality in high-risk areas of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh by approximately 2 percent. Results of additional analyses are forthcoming.


Request for Applications - Economic Development and Institutions
Photo by UNESCO
CEGA is excited to announce the launch of the first Economic Development & Institutions (EDI) grant competition, supported through an ongoing partnership with Oxford Policy Management and UK Aid. We are inviting proposals for pilot studies and full-scale randomized controlled trials that rigorously test interventions or government programs designed to improve the performance of political and legal institutions.

Apply for the BITSS Catalyst Program
BITSS has issued a Call for Proposals to fund research transparency trainings and curriculum development through our Catalyst Program. BITSS Catalysts can compete for funding to scale up learning activities and help us build a growing network of researchers dedicated to open science. Interested academics and practitioners can apply to become a Catalyst here .

5th Annual BITSS Annual Meeting
Ted Miguel, CEGA
Faculty Director

On December 15-16 BITSS will host its Annual Meeting , convening leaders from academia, scholarly publishing, and science policy to strengthen the standards of transparency and reproducibility across social science disciplines. The meeting will feature keynote speakers Lorena Barba and Stefano DellaVigna , along with announcements of the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science . There will also be a film screening of the (Dis)Honesty Project . Find detailed agenda and registration link here .

Call for Papers: PacDev 2017  
The 2017  Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev) will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the University of California, Riverside.  The deadline is fast approaching -- submit a paper by December 21!

CEGA Is Hiring! 
We are expanding our team with openings for the following full-time positions: Events & Communications Associate, and Energy & Financial Inclusion Senior Program Associate. Click here for details on how to apply.