Last week I was in Uganda discussing the evaluation of a large-scale livelihoods programme. Understandably, there were concerns about using a randomised trial. What interested me was that the concerns were inspired by problems with previous regression-discontinuity and stepped-wedge trial designs. These designs are used when a randomised design is infeasible, often because they are thought to be more acceptable to research participants. However I think they have a greater risk of causing conflict with participants. Let me explain.
four months 18 months too late, I’m finally making good on a NY resolution (the resolution that keeps on giving) and getting a list of the blogs that I want to get out of my head. Ideally, I’ll work through one a week, adding more to the top as I go. In no particular order of appearance:
There is a common opinion that pie charts are verboten. A sign of a novice analyst. Who might, god forbid, have made the chart in Excel.
Below is the text of a talk I gave at an Education Endowment Foundation event on Monday the 28th of October at the Wellcome Trust in London
I’m interested in the effect that EU-free-movement had on migrant access via conventional routes. By ‘conventional routes’ I mean the non-country-specific ways that migrants can come to the UK, e.g. through visas or marriage, as opposed to freedom of movement within the EU. Rather than go back to the start of free movement with Europe, I focused on the effect of the expansion of the Union from 2004.
In a recent post, Cal Newport — blogger and ‘deep work’ enthusiast — quotes from a survey from Adobe that the average worker checks email for 5.6 hours a day.
The idea that populations of people living with HIV ‘cascade’ over the steps towards controlling the virus with medication – testing, initiating treatment, suppressing the virus by adhering to the correct treatment – has been around for a long time.
Updated 23 Aug 2019 with note re: PDFs and journal submissions
When a group of people meet in the same room a number of times, people often remark on how funny it is that they always sit in the same place.
I’m becoming more and more taken with the availability of free, reliable, and in many ways superior software for doing academic work. For anyone starting out, here are my suggestions.
This morning I was listening to the latest podcast from the excellent Planet Money team. They were looking into the history of non-disclosure agreements, in particular how they came to be used to gag whistle-blowers from revealing misconduct, corruption, discrimination, and harassment.
How would the creation of America be viewed through modern eyes? Even Americans would surely oppose British imperialism, and the audacity of landing on and claiming a small part of an inhabited continent. Despite oppression at home in Europe, we would condemn settlers who chose other people’s land as the setting for their own states of religious (un-) freedom. And, when the British were thrown off, we would be horrified by the expansion from the original thirteen colonies, perched on the east coast, westward to the other ‘shining sea’. (Compare the 1,080,465 km² United States at independence* with the 9,841,955 km² country now – a 9 times increase.)
I, along with staff at over 60 universities in the UK have been on strike for 14 of the past 30 days. The action was called because an evaluation of the USS pension fund showed a shortfall, and the proposed solution was to change the scheme from a defined benefit pension — where you know what you’re going to get when you retire — to a defined contributions pension, where what you retire on will be subject to market performance. An independent evaluation of the proposal put the effect of the change in stark terms: a 40% reduction in pension income, or around £10,000 per year for the typical lecturer.
I often seem to get asked to recommend podcasts. Probably because my half-remembered anecdotes often start, ‘I heard on a podcast that..’. Here’s what I listen to regularly (in no particular order), which I’ll try to update if anything changes:
Hi. This is my first post on my very own Git-Hub-based Jekyll-powered website. It took me a little while to patch it together from things that I mostly understand on the internet. If you would like to make your own site, you’re very welcome to ‘fork’ from my GitHub repository (not as horrible as it sounds – useful introduction here), and get into using git for managing your work (or at least your website). Final piece of the set-up: I am using iA Writer with markdown, both of which are simple and great to use.