Since 2017, I have been working on a research grant titled “Designing and Evaluating Innovations for Development of Smallholder Female Livestock Cooperatives in Nepal.” This project is funded by USAID and Feed the Future through the Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida.
This project is led by Conner Mullally (University of Florida), Sarah Janzen (Kansas State University) and Nicholas Magnan (University of Georgia). In collaboration with Heifer Project International Nepal, the research team has designed a smartphone application for smallholder livestock cooperatives that is intended to relax market constraints and increase economic activity. This intervention is being evaluated through a randomized control trial with over 2,500 individuals across 92 smallholder cooperatives.
I traveled to Nepal twice for this project to conduct fieldwork and oversee project implementation. During my first trip in November 2018, I held meetings with implementing partners and presented the progress of our research to stakeholders, including officials at USAID, the Government of Nepal and a number of NGOs. During my second trip to Nepal, I spent three weeks traveling across the country training members of our study in how to use the smartphone application to improve cooperative performance.
Since 2015, I have served in a voluntary capacity as the research director of P4H Global. P4H Global is an NGO that provides evidence-based teacher training programs in Haiti and Nicaragua. In my role as research director, I oversee the organizations data collection and monitoring & evaluation efforts. I have traveled to Haiti regularly since 2015, spending more than 10 weeks in the country in total. My visits to Haiti typically include traveling to different schools around the country in order to monitor ongoing training programs and collect data for evaluations.
To date, our evaluation system collects data on all educators who receive training through P4H. To measure knowledge gain over the course of a typical three-day program, educators are given an identical diagnostic exam on basic teaching practices and theories before and after the training. To measure implementation of improved teaching practices, each school that we train receives initial classroom observations prior to the training and a follow-up classroom observation within six-months of the training.
P4H Global was recently awarded a contract through the Haitian Ministry of Education and the Inter-American Development Bank to oversee quality control for all public schools in Haiti’s North Department. Through this collaborative effort, we hope to expand our evaluation program to include more rigorous measures such as student test scores, student attendance and drop-out rates, teacher attendance, and other relevant metrics.