When are experiments corrupt?

Hoffmann, Nimi (2019) When are experiments corrupt? Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 36 (4). pp. 532-552. ISSN 0258-9001

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Between 2010 and 2011, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded a large-scale experiment on Kenyan schools. The policy experiment tested the effects of cutting teachers’ salaries and hiring them on short-term contracts, but the intervention failed after sustained opposition from teacher unions and parent associations. This article critically revisits the narrative of how this experiment was designed, implemented and interpreted, finding evidence that the experiment violated empirical logic. It examines whether the theory of neopatrimonialism can explain the ways in which vested interests may have undermined the empirical logic of the experiment. By doing so, the analysis tests the explanatory utility of neopatrimonialism, and casts light on the conditions under which policy experiments in Africa may be anti-empirical.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Randomized controlled trials, impact evaluation, social policy, corruption, neopatrimonialism
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 16:47
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2020 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85875

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