Students at McCourt School’s Master in International Development Policy (MIDP) work with a client to produce an applied empirical report which answers a policy-relevant question.

Past clients include: ARK, iDE, IFPRI, Mercy Corps, the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative,
Twaweza, and the World Bank.

On the right are some examples of previous projects.

2019

The 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal: Who were the most exposed, vulnerable, and resilient?
Client: World Bank

The students analyze the Nepal Household Risk and Vulnerability Survey conducted by the World Bank in 2016. They find that richer households in the plain areas were most likely to be exposed to the earthquake. Moreover, richer households lost more assets in absolutely terms, but poorer households lost more assets in relative terms. The poorest households were also most likely to reduce expenditure as a coping strategy, and less likely to use savings.

Policy brief and technical report

Inequality of Opportunity in Ethiopia
Client: World Bank

The students analyze trends in inequality of opportunity in Ethiopia. They find that there has been an overall improvement in both access to services and inequality of access, between 2011 and 2016. However, large geographic disparities between rural and urban areas remain. Rural status is by far the largest driver of inequality, compared to other socio-economic factors such as income, education, region, or religion.

Technical report

2018

Can sanitation marketing improve latrine usage and reduce incidence of diarrhea? Evidence from Cambodia.
Client: iDE

Using a difference-in-difference empirical strategy, the students find that latrine coverage increased by 17.8 percentage points in regions targeted by the sanitation marketing program compared to the control regions, while diarrhea decreased by 5.8 percentage points.

Policy brief and technical report

2017

What are the Determinants of Household Resilience to Conflict in Nigeria?
Client: Mercy Corps

Using a triple-difference strategy the students find that: (i) poorer households are more likely to be affected by conflict; (ii) an increase in conflict exposure is associated with a reduction in food consumption and increase in child malnutrition; (iii) and villages with higher social capital and access to services can mitigate the negative impact of conflict on measures of child malnutrition including stunting, underweight, and wasting.

Policy brief and technical report

What were the impacts of Ebola on the labor market in Sierra Leone?
Client: World Bank
Using a difference-in-difference empirical strategy, the students find that households in regions most exposed to Ebola experienced a reduction in employment in the farming sector the subsequent year, relative to regions that were less exposed. This was partially offset by an increase in non-formal self-employment.

Policy brief and technical report

2016

What predicts violence in Iraq?
Client: Mercy Corps

The students use machine learning techniques to predict incidence of violence in Iraq. They find that voting behavior and links with tribal chiefs as the strongest predictors.

Policy brief and technical report

Can private school vouchers improve student performance in India?
Client: ARK

The students report results of a randomized evaluation of a voucher program to attend low-fee private schools in New Delhi. Consistent with previous studies, they find that the voucher program had a negative impact on Hindi but a positive impact on English learning outcomes.

Policy brief and technical report