February 21, 2019
STATE OF EVIDENCE: PRESENTATIONS on DEBATES and PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY & GOVERNANCE
The Evidence in Governance & Politics (EGAP) Research Network, in collaboration with NYU DC, co-hosted a policy, research, and networking event which aimed to showcase policy relevant research on candidate debates; and public service delivery & governance.
A reception followed the program. Participants were welcome to join the entire event, or individual panel sessions.
Practitioners like National Democratic Institute, the Commission on Presidential Debates and Debates International network support candidate debates across the globe with the aim of helping candidates, political parties and voters to focus on policy issues rather than religious, ethnic or regional identity politics. At the same time, emerging research demonstrates a variation in the impacts of debates on citizens. This panel brings together academic researchers and debates practitioners to share what we know about the impacts of debates, what we can know through rigorous research and what we still want to know about the outcomes and impacts of debates on the political ecosystem
Matt Dippell is deputy director of the Latin America and Caribbean team at NDI. For more than a decade, he has organized democracy strengthening programs on civil-military relations, political parties, civic organizing and elections in more than 15 countries. In addition, Mr. Dippell serves as an advisor on candidate debate programs and is NDI's liaison for projects around the world with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the independent nonprofit organization that has sponsored and produced all U.S. general election presidential debates since 1987. Before joining NDI, Mr. Dippell served as director of research at the Shipbuilders' Council of America, a trade association. He also worked as legislative assistant for foreign affairs and health care for Rep. Sid Morrison in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Dippell received a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and his undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach. He also studied at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico.
Eric Kramon is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. He received his PhD in political science from UCLA in 2013 and is a 2013-14 Minerva Postdoctoral Fellow. While at CDDRL, he is working on a book project on vote buying and clientelism in Africa, as well as additional projects on the impact of election observation on electoral fraud and electoral quality, ethnicity and the politics of public goods provision in Africa, and the political determinants of good governance reforms. Eric is also interested in health and welfare.
Pia Raffler is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Harvard University. She studies the politics of development, focusing on governance, bureaucracy, and electoral politics in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on Uganda. Her research focuses on political oversight of bureaucrats and implications for public service provision on the one hand, and electoral behavior on the other. She works closely with government agencies to understand impediments to accountable representation, often through large-scale field experiments. Prior to joining Harvard, she spent a year at the Niehaus Center and the Center for Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. She holds a PhD from Yale University.
Linda Stern is the director of Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) at NDI. An applied anthropologist by training, she is an expert in action research methods and participatory evaluation, often acting as lead evaluator on NDI’s internal evaluations. As director of a small technical team, Stern provides NDI staff with the capacity to monitor and evaluate their programs, and equips NDI teams with the appropriate tools and guidelines for collecting, analyzing and reporting on programmatic data. Stern is responsible for ensuring that NDI has a strong body of evidence for the quality, effectiveness and impact of its democracy assistance programming.
Increasingly, international organisations and other donors are supporting developing country governments in their effort to address complex governance challenges. While improved governance is sometimes perceived to be an end in itself (e.g. SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions), it is often justified as ultimately helping improve service delivery. This panel will draw on a wealth of experience in Africa, Latin America and South Asia to address issues such as: Which governance challenges should be addressed first? Have governance reforms been successful in improving service delivery? Is citizen engagement critical? Can governments take advantage of big data to safely improve feedback loops?
Dr. Ghazala Mansuri is a lead economist in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice and is also associated with the Development Research Group at the World Bank. She has published extensively in leading journals in economics and development, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, the American Economic Journal: Applied and the Journal of Development Economics among others. She has also co-authored the book 'Localizing Development';. Her work spans the following broad areas: poverty and inequality, institutional and governance reforms for development, the economics of household behavior. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University.
Ana de la O is an associate professor of Political Science at Yale. She is also affiliated with the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Institution of Social and Policy Studies, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Ana's research relates to the political economy of poverty alleviation, clientelism and the provision of public goods. She has also done work on factors that shape preferences for income redistribution, such as religion, and factors influencing political participation such as political interest and access to information about local governments’ performance. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. She earned her PhD in Political Science from M.I.T. in 2007. She recently completed a book manuscript that explores the causes and political consequences of the proliferation of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America.
Ken Opalo is an Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His research interests include the politics of legislative development and the political economy of development in Africa. He has ongoing research projects on the politics of education reform in Tanzania and political accountability under devolved government in Kenya. His first book, titled Legislative Development in Africa: Colonial Legacies and Politics, is scheduled for publication by Cambridge University Press in 2019. Ken earned his BA from Yale and PhD from Stanford.
Julien Labonne is an Associate Professor in Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. His research is focused on issues of clientelism, electoral politics and social networks. He carries out field experiments, designs household surveys and uses large-scale datasets to test models of voter and politician behavior in developing countries. He has a particular interest in Southeast Asia and most of his fieldwork takes place in the Philippines. Prior to joining the Blavatnik School, Julien was an Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Economics) at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, and completed his PhD in the Economics Department at the University of Oxford. Julien previously worked on impact evaluations and survey design at the World Bank and has consulted for the Asia Foundation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the OECD.