Information for Affiliates

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*Human Subjects/IRB
*Presentations Database
*Questionnaire Database
*Research Manuals
*Data Management/Stata Code
*Budgets & Grant writing
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Affiliate Criteria

J-PAL affiliates are nominated by members of J-PAL's Board. The nomination is then reviewed by J-PAL's Executive Committee using the following criteria:

  1. Affiliates are intended to primarily be academics who publish in high quality economics journals.
  2. Affiliates should be currently affiliated with a university or its equivalent (at which academic freedom to publish results is protected), either as a professor or as a principal investigator. Researchers working at "funding and implementing" organizations (e.g. the World Bank, ADB or IDB) are not invited to be affiliates because of potential conflict.

Annotated Descriptions of Selected Resources on SharePoint:

Human Subjects [back to top]

The *Human Subjects section on SharePoint contains resources relating to human subjects and IRB, including information on protocols, IRB documents, and templates. This section is split into the following five categories:

*Manuals

The manuals section contains guidelines and protocols for human subjects and IRB e.g. the *J-PAL Human Subjects Manual that talks about when an IRB is required and what is the process for submitting and renewing an IRB.  The staff training presentation on the *Ethics of Research and IRB also contains important information for staff on the importance of ethics and data security.

*Templates

The templates section contains resources on sample consent forms, confidentiality and data use agreements. Following are a few key documents that can be found in this section:

  1. *Confidentiality agreement
  2. *Data Use Agreement
  3. *Informed Consent and checklist
  4. *Parental Consent for Children
  5. *Sample Risk Verbiage

*IRB Forms

The IRB Forms section contains documents for actual IRB forms for the different IRBs such as *MIT, *Yale, *IPA, *IFMR and *UCT. It also includes a few different *country specific IRB documents.

*Ethical Research Concerns – Other Papers

This section contains papers on the ethics of research, e.g. a paper on  *Conducting Ethical Economics Research: Complications from the Field and *Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment.

In addition to the above resources on SharePoint, the following information might also be of use:

Links to some of the most frequently used IRBs by our affiliates:

  1. Harvard Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
  2. MIT COUHES
  3. Northwestern IRB
  4. Yale IRB

Links to Human Subjects certifications required by J-PAL and IPA for their research staff:

  • CITI (MIT Staff)
  • CITI (J-PAL, non-MIT staff)
  • NIH (IPA and others)

Research Manuals [back to top]

The *Research Manuals section on SharePoint aggregates guidelines, manuals, and documentation about J-PAL protocols across the research process. This runs the gamut from big-picture project management documentation such as our *Research Protocols checklist to more niche topics such as *tips for batch programming.

Manuals are separated by stage of the research process and can be browsed according to the following categories:

  1. General Project Management e.g. *File and Folder Management Guidelines
  2. Finance e.g. *Tips for Grant Writing
  3. Research Design e.g. *Introduction to Power Calculations
  4. Intervention e.g. *J-PAL Costing Guidelines
  5. Human Subjects and IRB e.g. *J-PAL Human Subjects Manual
  6. Measurement e.g. *Guideline to Piloting Survey Instruments
  7. Data Collection e.g. *Back Check Manual
  8. Data Entry (with more specific guidelines for electronic data collection) e.g. *Data Entry Auditing Guideline
  9. Data Management (with more specific guidelines for working in Stata in particular) e.g. *Doing Reproducible Research Guidelines

Data Management/Stata Code [back to top]

The *Data Management section on SharePoint contains literature, example code, and guidelines on various stages of the data management process involved in the typical research project. This section is broadly split into five categories:

*Data Security

The section on Data Security contains guidelines on J-PAL-approved best practices, including protocols that we recommend RAs follow. In addition, there are guides to using Stata and VeraCrypt for data encryption, removal of personally identifying information, and data storage. Further guidance can be found in training materials on data security that are also included here.

*Data Cleaning

The data cleaning section broadly covers two topics: real-time checks of incoming data while data collection is underway, and guidelines on how to approach data cleaning. The former includes code and templates for conducting back checks and high frequency checks with paper-based and electronic data collection systems. Guidelines include protocols for labeling missing data, best practices with organizing datasets, etc.

*Data Analysis

The data analysis section includes literature on index construction, econometrics, and analyzing data of various forms (panel, longitudinal, etc.) For Stata code and guidelines to using and getting started in Stata for data analysis, please refer to the *Software Training folder containing Stata-specific resources. This latter folder contains hands-on resources including:

IPA and J-PAL self-paced Stata training modules, which include problem sets and extensive notes. Stata *101, *102, *103, and *104 are available,*depending on the user’s level of Stata proficiency.

In addition, *sample randomization code for Stata is available.

Staff Training [back to top]

The objective of the training is to provide staff with the theoretical and technical training needed to design and coordinate high-quality research studies in the field. Ideally, all who attend have been working on a research project for at least 3-6 months; however it is open to individuals with tenure outside of that range.

Cost of training:

For Research Associates sent by J-PAL Affiliates, the fee is $1500 per participant. This fee covers training materials, accommodation and food for five days, and transportation from the destination airport or designated meeting locale to the training location. It does not include travel to the country where training is held, computer programs, or expenses outside of the training location and dates. Other features include:

  • Access to extensive resources relevant to implementing RCT research, developed by IPA and JPAL.
  • A certificate at the end of the training certifying their attendance.
  • Access to a Google page where they can register, see the agenda, logistics, and other information about the training, information about the area surrounding the venue, and connect with other participants.

Course Coverage:

Theoretical topics

  1. Research ethics
  2. Research design (theory of change, measurement, etc.)
  3. Randomization theory
  4. Power calculation theory

Technical topics

  1. Questionnaire design
  2. Quality control in the field, for paper and electronic surveys
  3. Field team management
  4. Data entry
  5. Programming an electronic survey in SurveyCTO
  6. Stata programming, from beginner to advanced
  7. Power calculations in Optimal Design
  8. Data security

*Staff Training Content can be viewed on SharePoint: includes sample agenda, lectures, case studies, presentations and course packet.

Budgets and Grant Writing [back to top]

The *Budgets and Grant Writing section on SharePoint contains guidelines on how to write grants and prepare budgets. Additional resources in this section are organized into five different categories as follows:

*Budgets

The Budgets section contains resources related to preparing budgets, e.g. sample *budget templates used by J-PAL and IPA and a *checklist of items to include in your budget.

*Training and Tips

The Training and Tips section contains resources that provide tips on best practices for writing grants, managing budgets and tracking expenses on the field e.g. this presentation on *Principles of Budgeting and Expense Tracking and a blog post by David McKenzie on *Tips for writing Impact Evaluation Grant Proposals         

*Collecting Cost Data

The Collecting Cost Data section contains a *Costing Template. The goal of this template is to collect costs for all ingredients needed to implement a program or intervention, excluding the costs of evaluating the impact of that program. Collecting this cost data is important in determining the cost-effectiveness of a program.

*Budget Guidelines

The Budget Guidelines section contains a *manual on what kinds of costs to consider when creating a budget. It provides a list of all the different kinds of costs that are incurred in a typical project and provides guidelines on how to account for those costs in your budget.