Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Should Development RCTs Be Blind? Not So Fast

Proponents of the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in impact evaluation and development research often point out the close link between these trials and their clinical counterparts in the world of medical research. 

Memo to Aid World: Drop “Capacity Building”

I have always chafed at the idea of “capacity building” – a donor fallback in developing countries whenever progress on a donor-financed project is slow. Too much of what donors mean by capacity building has turned out to be training sessions, workshops, and nice trips of mid-level technical staff from low-income countries to Paris, London and Washington.

RCTs in Development, Lessons from the Hype Cycle

Last month, I was on my way to speak at an IDB sponsored conference on evaluation.  Getting on the shuttle to DC I bumped into a friend of mine who is the head of a technology related company.   On the plane I was telling him I was on my way to talk about the fad of doing RCTs in my field of development.  He told me he had a great slide from the tech consulting company Gartner about the “Hype Cycle” in tech industries.  As you see, this wonderful graphic shows a typical cycle of a tech idea or tech

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