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Capacity Building Seminars

Building the capacity of researchers is a core component of the MwAPATA mission. This page provides materials from seminars hosted by the Institute, given by experienced researchers covering a wide range of subjects. 

Value Cost Ratios

Value Cost Ratios: Measuring Profitability to Understand Adoption
October 5, 2021

Dr. William Burke discusses using value cost ratios (VCRs) as a tool for understanding profitability and technology adoption. This can be a useful way of framing post-estimation results of input productivity, for example.  In addition to slides and a discussion, a spreadsheet-based tool for visualizing VCRs is provided.

Additional Materials:

VCR illustration tool (in Excel)

Example in literature (see figures 2 & 3):

Burke, W.J., S.S. Snapp and T.S. Jayne. 2020. "An in-depth examination of maize yield response to fertilizer in Central Malawi reveals low profits and too many weeds" Agricultural Economics 51 (6): 923-940. Request PDF 

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Slides

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Making Compelling Maps and Other Data Visualizations
August 31, 2021

Dr. Ayala Wineman shares her knowledge and advice on creating maps using various software packages. She also discusses some general principles for presenting data in documents and presentations. In addition to the presentation video and slides, Dr. Wineman has provided Stata .do files, shapefiles, and editable maps for Powerpoint that could have practical value for the audience.

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Slides

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Additional Materials:

Editable maps for Malawi, Africa and the World (in Powerpoint)

Example - Making maps in Stata (.zip file containing .do file)

Fish farms in Malawi (data in Excel)

Malawi shapefiles (.zip file containing data for mapping programs)

Dr. Ayala Wineman has extensive experience working with household survey data from around the world. For example, her team led the development of standardized variable construction across LSMS data sets for several countries and years. In this seminar she shares her experience of the "Joys and Sorrows" of variable construction.

The Joys and Sorrows of Variable Construction
July 29, 2021

Additional Materials:

         Slides

References

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Dr. William Burke has participated in the design and implementation of numerous surveys in Southern Africa and around the world, and previously taught survey design at Stanford University. In this one-hour seminar he touches on some of the major considerations that should go into planning a survey and highlights some common mistakes designers make when writing questions.

Additional Material:

This document, prepared by Chris Wolf (Michigan State University), offers some timelessly useful insights on data (and thus questionnaire) design. It is referenced on slide 4.

 

Salant & Dillman discusses common mistakes when writing survey questions. Appendix 6A is particularly valuable. Please email me to request use of my copy.

Slides

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Tabitha Nindi discusses using Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) to measure intervention impacts in a developing country context. She builds on an example of a study she led in Malawi on the introduction of PICS bags for legume storage. The presentation is followed by a Q&A with MwAPATA.

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Professor Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, based on his experience and several peer-reviewed publications, summarizes the different types of auctions that can be used to gather data on revealed or stated preferences (willingness to pay). He also discusses when each is appropriate, how to setup and conduct auctions, and how to present and interpret findings. Several examples from the literature are reviewed. Click here for video, slides and links to reviewed material.

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Dr. William Burke presents his recommendations for "do's and don'ts" for preparing and presenting a slideshow when sharing the results of analysis. The presentation is followed by a brief introduction MwAPATA's PowerPoint template. There are occasional additional comments and questions from the MwAPATA research staff. Click here for video and slides.

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Professor Jacob Ricker-Gilbert shares his experiences with Pre-Analysis Plan registration and discusses the pros and cons. The presentation is followed by a Q&A with MwAPATA and LUANAR researchers. Click here for video, slides and extra material.

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Professor Jacob Ricker-Gilbert has published dozens of working papers and journal articles with thousands of citations, and he is on the editorial boards of several major journals. In this seminar he shares his insights on what makes up a successful working paper or journal article. The presentation is followed by a Q&A with MwAPATA and LUANAR researchers. Click here for video, slides and extra material.

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Professor Thom Jayne has over 30 years experience writing for and communicating with policy makers. In this seminar he discusses how to distill research in ways that are accessible and impactful. The presentation is followed by a Q&A with MwAPATA and LUANAR researchers. Click here for video, slides and extra material.

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