Fortnightly logo

Development Economics in Practice: The Joys and Challenges of Doing Field Work in Sub-Saharan Africa

Increasingly, fieldwork has become an essential component of development economics research. Sarah Baird’s talk will discuss how development economics works in practice, focusing on the implementation and evaluation of three different programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first program provided deworming medication to primary school students in Kenya, the second provided monthly cash transfers to girls conditional on school attendance in Malawi, and the third gave grants to vulnerable groups (such as HIV infected households) in Tanzania. Dr. Baird will discuss how and why these programs were designed, the implementation of the fieldwork including some of the challenges faced, as well as some of the most interesting findings and policy recommendations stemming from the evaluations of these programs.
Prior to attending the University of California, Berkeley to complete her Masters degree and Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics, Baird was a research analyst at the Roberts Environmental Center and an EEP major at Claremont McKenna College. No stranger to the Athenaeum, Sarah also distinguished herself as an Athenaeum Fellow during her senior year at CMC. Sarah Baird is currently an assistant professor of global health at George Washington University.