Center for Effective Global Action
October 2016 - Impact Note


Advancing the Research Agenda for Financial Inclusion

The World Bank recently published the recap of a June 2016 workshop exploring the path toward broader global financial inclusion. This one day event, co-hosted by CEGA and the World Bank, drew together nearly 200 people from academia, financial sector, government, and nonprofits to set a research agenda. The event also featured talks by multiple CEGA affiliates on how governments in low-income countries can effectively support financial inclusion goals.

CEGA Postdoc Highlighted by Discovery Channel
Kweku Opoku-Agyemang

CEGA Postdoctoral researcher Kweku Opoku-Agyemang was featured on the Discovery Channel's Seeker Daily program in an episode titled, "Can Africa Overcome Its Corruption Problem?" In the episode, Opoku-Agyemang discusses a study of whether increased salaries for police officers can curb bribery in West Africa. The study finds that following a salary increase for police officers in 2010, police bribes actually grew by 25%.

Measuring Progress towards Development

A Forbes article this month highlights takeaways from a CEGA conference on the use of sensor networks (IoT), satellite imagery, and other technologies to monitor the economic performance of infrastructure investments in the developing world. Co-hosted by the World Bank's Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) group, the meeting's participants included researchers from Facebook, Planet , and a host of other companies and universities working to improve transport systems, utilities, and rural infrastructure. Presentations and videos are online.

The Science of Scaling

Scale was the focus of this year's State of the Science conference, held in September by CEGA's Development Impact Lab. Speakers included academics from the CEGA network as well as staff from USAID, J-PAL, IPA, Evidence Action, and IBM Research Africa. The event was designed to explore how we can learn more systematically from the scale-up of anti-poverty products and interventions. Devex
highlighted the
top takeaways from the conference.

BITSS Awarded NIH Grant

Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) been awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a series of international Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training (RT2) events over the next five years. These events will bring together leading academics to identify common challenges in the practice of science, develop and disseminate new tools, and train the next generation of social scientists in reproducible, transparent research. Partners include UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UCSF, UC Riverside, and the Center for Open Science.

Launching CEGA's New Economic Development and Institutions
(EDI) Program

A recent video details how the Economic Development and Institutions (EDI) program, jointly managed with Oxford Policy Management, will generate a set of "linked" randomized evaluations that result in high-quality evidence with greater generalizability. The program, funded by UK Aid, will shed light on how to improve political and legal institutions across a diverse range of geographies and contexts.
CEGA 2015-16 Annual Report

CEGA's 2015-16 annual report is now available on our website. The report explores CEGA's evolution over the past year, highlighting the research, initiatives, and individuals that help us achieve impact throughout the world.

CEGA Welcomes New Affiliates

Siwan Anderson


Several new faculty affiliates have recently joined CEGA: Siwan Anderson (University of British Columbia), Supreet Kaur (UC Berkeley), Simeon Nichter (UCSD), Molly Roberts (UCSD), and Charles Sprenger (UCSD). These outstanding researchers bring expertise in big data analytics, political economy, behavioral economics, and labor markets.


Photo by Andrew Weller 
Early Childhood Development: From Science
to Scale

Failing to invest in early childhood development can have lasting effects on health and wellbeing into adulthood. CEGA affiliates
Lia Fernald and Paul Gertler (UC Berkeley) are co-authors on a three paper series in the Lancet providing a comprehensive investigation of early childhood development. They estimate that 250 million children under five in low and middle-income countries are at significant risk of not reaching their development potential. The three papers review interventions that have proven effective and provide a roadmap for scaling up solutions, and estimate the costs of inaction.

New Insight into Climate Change Impacts

Photo by Kenneth Lee
The environmental risks of climate change are well studied and documented - but the likely social and economic impacts have been less extensively investigated. In a
new paper in Science , CEGA affiliate Solomon Hsiang and co-author Tamma Carlton review quantitative estimates of the impacts of environmental change on health, agriculture, economics, conflict, migration, and demographics. Their analysis reveals that rising temperatures have increased the risk of conflict by 11% in Sub Saharan Africa; decreased the amount of North American maize by 48%; and could slow global economic growth rates by nearly a third of a percent per year if continued at the current rate.

Mapping Crop Yields with Satellites
Photo by BRAC

CEGA affiliate David Lobell recently discussed his work on satellite crop mapping at Google Earth's Engine User Summit. High resolution remotely sensed imagery can be a powerful and low-cost tool for estimating crop yields and measuring the effectiveness of agriculture interventions in small-holder farming communities.


Registration Now Open for BITSS Annual Meeting

On December 15-16, CEGA hosts the BITSS Annual Meeting in Berkeley, bringing together leaders from academia, scholarly publishing, and policy to strengthen the standards of transparency and reproducibility across social science disciplines. The meeting will feature keynote speakers Stefano DellaVigna and Lorna Barba, an announcement of 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science , some exciting results from our Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) grant program , and selected research from an open call for papers. We will also host a film screening of the (Dis)Honesty Project. Register online now!

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. Submit a paper by December 21!