Democratic Participation

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Making Government Work - Kennedy School Group Aids 13 Nations in Solving Political Problems

November 10, 2015

By Christina Pazzanese - Harvard Gazette

It starts with the best of intentions. When policymakers push a new strategy or program, they usually do so believing their efforts will solve a problem or improve some vital aspect of life for the community. But when the rubber meets the road, things don’t always go as planned, especially in the developing world where administrative capacity, along with access to information and training, is weak.

Asim Khwaja on Evidence for Policy Design

Asim Khwaja on Evidence for Policy Design

September 29, 2015

By Doug Gavel - Harvard Kennedy School

When development economists conduct research, one of the goals is to help practitioners and policymakers create better policies in countries struggling with a host of educational, political, and financial challenges. Asim Ijaz Khwaja is the Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development at Harvard Kennedy School, and co-director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Center for International Development.

Degrees of fakery

Degrees of fakery

July 4, 2015

By Amulya Gopalakrishnan - The Times of India

The government's argument assumes that low levels of education are the reason for corruption, rather than intent or opaque and discretion-laden processes. "The digital delivery of transactions, say for MGNREGA, could reduce the opportunity for corruption," says Rohini Pande, economist and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, who has extensively studied panchayati raj institutions.

Playing ‘truth or dare’ with governance

Playing ‘truth or dare’ with governance

April 9, 2015

By Suvojit Chattopadhyay - Live Mint

In an experimental study, Rema Hanna (Harvard University) and Shing-Yi Wang (University of Pennsylvania) reported on some lab experiments with senior university students in India designed to capture their propensity to cheat.

In Indian Villages, the Power of a Powerful Woman

In Indian Villages, the Power of a Powerful Woman

January 14, 2015

With Appendix

By Rohini Pande - The New York Times

NEW DELHI — There are two key requirements for a truly representative democracy: First, that anyone of good character can run for election, without regard to income, gender or social status; and second, that voters determine which qualities are most important in those they elect.

The Indian state of Rajasthan has struck a blow against both of these freedoms. Last month, the governor… Read more about In Indian Villages, the Power of a Powerful Woman

Keeping Women Safe - Addressing the Root Causes of Violence against Women in South Asia

Keeping Women Safe - Addressing the Root Causes of Violence against Women in South Asia

December 15, 2014

By Rohini Pande - Harvard Magazine 

N DECEMBER 2012, thousands of protesters flooded the streets of cities across India, demanding a safer environment for women. A 23-year-old female student had died from injuries sustained 13 days earlier, when six men raped and savagely beat her on a Delhi bus. The case gained international attention, and since then South Asian media have reported dozens more horrifying instances of violence against women, several involving tourists: a Danish woman was gang-raped in Delhi after… Read more about Keeping Women Safe - Addressing the Root Causes of Violence against Women in South Asia

Propaganda and conflict: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide

Propaganda and conflict: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide

December 3, 2014

HKS Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

A 2014 paper [by David Yanagizawa-Drott] published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, “Propaganda and Conflict: Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide,” looks at the impact of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), a key media outlet for the Hutu-led government, on violence and killings of the Tutsi minority.

Watery Tea: A Novel Way to Measure the Influence of a Protest Movement

Watery Tea: A Novel Way to Measure the Influence of a Protest Movement

December 21, 2013

From the Print Edition - The Economist
HOW influential is the Tea Party? The anti-tax protests that erupted in 2009 have long since been hijacked by every right-wing group with the wit to add the words “Tea Party” to its letterhead. But new research suggests that the people whom left-wing pundits once dismissed as “teabaggers” made a big difference in the mid-term elections of 2010, when Republicans recaptured the House of Representatives.

That victory had many causes, from economic gloom to disillusion with Barack Obama. But… Read more about Watery Tea: A Novel Way to Measure the Influence of a Protest Movement

Political protests change behavior, says study

Political protests change behavior, says study

October 24, 2013

The Harvard Crimson
By Quynh-Nhu Le
Political protests do not just show changing political preferences, but can actually cause political views and behaviors to change, according to a new research paper co-authored by assistant professors at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The researchers collated data on the first major Tea Party protests in April 2009 to conclude that initial attendance at the rallies impacted how conservatively citizens and elected officials voted afterwards.

David Yanagizawa-Drott, one of the paper’s co-authors and an assistant professor at the… Read more about Political protests change behavior, says study