Prashansa Srivastava & Anahita Karandikar

Research Associate or Research Assistant roles (RA) have become increasingly common and sought o ut. They are often considered gateways to Ph.D. or master’s programs. However, information on these opportunities — how to get them and what they entail — is typically passed only through informal networks. To make information on RA roles more transparent and accessible, we surveyed 156 current and former RAs working in the economics or development sectors in India. The survey was conducted from January 24, 2021, to February 21, 2021. We shared the survey over e-mail, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and…

If you’re a Stata user you must have at one point or the other made use of a community-contributed Stata command. The wonderful community of Stata users lets users easily write commands that can be made available to all users through the SSC archive or the Stata journal.

The most common examples about the beauty of these commands discuss how easy they make a treatment-effects estimation, manipulating complicated data, making elegant graphs, econometric modelling, working with spatial data and other complex tasks. However, one often ignored type of user-written commands are the ones that make coding on Stata fun! I’m…

Understanding the impact of survey work on enumerator health, how that may worsen during COVID and ways we can do better

Stress induced by surveying

The stress on enumerators and development professionals and its effects on productivity are well documented. Development professionals often experience feelings of guilt, worthlessness, loneliness, and feel overcritical of themselves at work as this Dalberg study found. Direct survey work whether on the field or over the phone as carried out by field teams can come with even more challenges. Surveying in general is a difficult job, it requires long hours, attention to detail, and patience and is also often of a temporary nature. The NFHS has a dedicated training manual for enumerators on domestic violence which guides surveyors on taking…

What are factors in the consenting process? And how can we do better?

Understanding survey consent

If you have ever designed a survey, you know what the first question always is. “Do you consent to participating in this survey?” This usually comes after an explanation of the survey and seems straightforward enough, but there may a variety of dynamics at play around this simple yes or no question. Consent, given during the start of the survey is meant to assist the respondent in understanding the research, what is expected of them, and the potential risks of harm and benefits of participating in the research. The process of consent should enable them to decide whether or not…

Prashansa Srivastava

Self proclaimed bluestocking, famed anti-socialite and occasional goat chaser. Currently an RA at JPAL-SA, aspiring kind human. All views are my own.

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