Field experiments documenting positive treatment effects have a strong policy message: scale up! However, such experiments are typically implemented under close supervision of the research group in charge of the study. In contrast, scaling up would typically imply relying on local organisation. It is not obvious that the positive treatment effects identified in the research-driven intervention can be replicated locally. The present study explicitly addresses this challenge by analysing the local version of a research-driven business training programme among microfinance entrepreneurs in Tanzania. Comparing the local programme with the research-led programme in terms of attendance and subjective evaluation, we find that success in local implementation cannot be taken for granted. Moreover, an analysis of long-term outcomes also demonstrates a weaker impact of the local programme. We conclude that the estimated effect of research-led interventions should be interpreted as an upper bound of what can be achieved when scaling up such interventions locally.
Does an economics education produce technocratic paternalists? Experimental evidence from Tanzania
Ivar Kolstad, Arne Wiig and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad
Journal of Development Studies
Evaluation of Sida’s Model for Bilateral Research Cooperation
Inge Tvedten (Team Leader), Raphaëlle Bisiaux, Adam Pain, Arne Tostensen, Panith Chou, Catherine Ngugi, Rodrigo Paz and Fredrik Åström
The Customer is King: Evidence on VAT Compliance in Tanzania
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Cecilia Kagoma, Ephraim Mdee, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen, Vincent Somville