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Walking the talk: the need for a trial registry for development interventions

Author

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  • Ole Dahl Rasmussen
  • Nikolaj Malchow-Møller
  • Thomas Barnebeck Andersen

Abstract

Recent advances in the use of randomised control trials to evaluate the effect of development interventions promise to enhance our knowledge of what works and why. A core argument supporting randomised studies is the claim that they have high internal validity. The authors argue that this claim is weak as long as a trial registry of development interventions is not in place. Without a trial registry, the possibilities for data mining, created by analyses of multiple outcomes and subgroups, undermine internal validity. Drawing on experience from evidence-based medicine and recent examples from microfinance, they argue that a trial registry would also enhance external validity and foster innovative research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ole Dahl Rasmussen & Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & Thomas Barnebeck Andersen, 2011. "Walking the talk: the need for a trial registry for development interventions," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 502-519, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:502-519
    DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2011.605160
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margaret Grosh & Paul Glewwe, 2000. "Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries : Lessons from 15 Years of the Living Standards Measurement Study, Volume 3," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15195, August.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    3. Rodrik, Dani, 2008. "The New Development Economics: We Shall Experiment, but How Shall We Learn?," Working Paper Series rwp08-055, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Margaret Grosh & Paul Glewwe, 2000. "Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries : Lessons from 15 Years of the Living Standards Measurement Study, Volume 2," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15194, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ksoll, Christopher & Lilleør, Helene Bie & Lønborg, Jonas Helth & Rasmussen, Ole Dahl, 2016. "Impact of Village Savings and Loan Associations: Evidence from a cluster randomized trial," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 70-85.
    2. repec:eee:jjieco:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:4-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Campos, Francisco & Coville, Aidan & Fernandes, Ana M. & Goldstein, Markus & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Learning from the experiments that never happened: Lessons from trying to conduct randomized evaluations of matching grant programs in Africa," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 4-24.

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