Debiasing Law Enforcement: Effects of an Expressive Arts Intervention in India

Preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and addressing institutional service-delivery related to GBV is one of the most important challenges to encouraging women's mobility and economic participation. Using a clustered RCT, we evaluate a gender and GBV sensitization intervention with 2400 male police officers across 239 police stations in the Indian state of Bihar -- the universe of stations in the context. The intervention combines rarely-evaluated techniques from applied arts and theatre with insights from behavioural science in an effort to change attitudes and norms of decisions towards complaints of GBV. We evaluate its impacts by identifying the microfoundations of police officers' decision making such as empathy, victim-blaming, "gut feelings" about reports, norms, and technical skills. We also evaluate the impact on women's economic and physical empowerment through a victims survey, decoy experiment and on workplace environment for women police officers.

RFP Cycle:
Summer 2021
  • Maria Micaela Sviatschi
  • Sofia Amaral
  • Girija Borker
  • Nishith Prakash
  • Helmut Rainer
  • Full project