Research in Progress

Impact assessment of start up loans to female run micro-enterprises with Azam Chaudhry (Lahore School of Economics), Giovanna d’Adda (Politecnico di Milano), Naved Hamid (Lahore School of Economics) and Mahreen Mahmud (University of Oxford).

The study is an impact evaluation of a unique micro-loan product with a training component that is provided only to female borrowers to start-up their microenterprise. This research is collaboration between the Lahore School of Economics and the Kashf Foundation, Pakistan. Endline activities were funded by the IGC and have recently concluded. Latest working paper available here.

Access to solar electricity in rural Sindh: Role of payment schedule and planning with Jacopo Bonan (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei), Giovanna d'Adda (Politecnico di Milano), Mahreen Mahmud (University of Oxford) and Massimo Tavoni (Politecnico di Milano).

This research is funded by the IGC and will be conducted in collaboration with Eco Energy Finance (EEF). EEF provides solar energy solutions to customers in off-grid areas under a pay-as-you-go monthly repayment scheme. This field experiment uses behavioural measures to investigate individual constraints to repayment and the sustainability of this business model.

Constraints to female entrepreneurship in Pakistan: the role of women's goals and aspirations with Giovanna d'Adda (Politecnico di Milano), Mahreen Mahmud (University of Oxford) and Diego Ubfal (Bocconi University).

This research is funded by the IGC and will be conducted in collaboration with National Rural Support Programme (NRSP). We use a RCT in Punjab, Pakistan to test for psychological factors constraining female enterprise through two interventions; one targeting women’s aspirations, and the other focusing on their ability to achieve objectives.

Overcoming constraints to female labor force entry with Hamna Ahmed (Lahore School of Economics), Mahreen Mahmud (University of Oxford) and Zunia Tirmazee (Lahore School of Economics).

This research is funded by GLM and PEDL. We use a RCT to test for psychological factors constraining labor force participation decisions made by final-year students in women-only colleges in Lahore, Pakistan.

Breaking the cycle: Reducing non-payment for electricity with Jacopo Bonan (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei), Giovanna d'Adda (Politecnico di Milano), Mahreen Mahmud (University of Oxford) and Massimo Tavoni (Politecnico di Milano).

This research is funded by the IGC and will be conducted in collaboration with Karachi Electric (KE). Energy provision by KE follows a policy of selective load-shedding at the neighborhood level, with the number of hours of outages increasing in the level of losses. Under this policy, the individual decision to pay in full is, therefore, also that of contributing to a local public good. This research will test the effectiveness of behavioral interventions in fostering regular bill payment through a randomised field experiment (RCT) to be conducted in Karachi, Pakistan

Behavioural insights for evidence-based policy making - impact of depression intervention on individual preferences with Sonia Balhotra (University of Essex) and Utteeyo Dasgupta (Wagner College) and Joseph Vecci (Gothenburg)

This research aims to use lab-in-the-field experiments to identify behavioural effects of depression. Among preferences that we expect are modified by depression or violence exposure are the valuation of agency, present-biasedness, risk-aversion, confidence, and perception of and adherence to social norms.

Education equity and quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP): From evidence to policy and practice with Jean-Francois Trani (University of Washington in St Louis), Peter Hovmand (University of Washington in St Louis), Parul Bakhshi (University of Washington in St Louis), Juanita Vasquez-Escallon (UNICEF), Sheretta Barnes (University of Washington in St Louis), Nidhi Singal (University of Cambridge), Amin Mayel (Swedish Committee for Afghanistan) and Muhammad Tahir Waqar (NRSP)

Children face many barriers to enrolling in and completing primary education particularly in Low Income Countries (LICs). When they do manage to enrol in schools, many vulnerable children do not learn at par with peers: across the central and southern Asia region, it is predicted that 81% of children and adolescents (241 million) will not reach minimum proficiency in reading. This research implements and evaluates a social accountability intervention to improve student learning. We test if parents, students and community members can be engaged in improving the quality of education through innovative social accountability mechanisms. combined with inclusive education training in schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.