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All across the social sciences, from development economics to political science departments, researchers are going into the field to collect data and learn about the world. While much has been gained from the successes of randomized controlled trials, stories of failed projects often do not get told. In Failing in the Field, Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel delve into the common causes of failure in field research, so that researchers might avoid similar pitfalls in future work. Drawing on the experiences of top social scientists working in developing countries, this book delves into failed projects and helps guide practitioners as they embark on their research. From experimental design and implementation to analysis and partnership agreements, Karlan and Appel show that there are important lessons to be learned from failures at every stage. They describe five common categories of failures, review six case studies in detail, and conclude with some reflections on best (and worst) practices for designing and running field projects, with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials. There is much to be gained from investigating what has previously not worked, from misunderstandings by staff to errors in data collection. Cracking open the taboo subject of the stumbles that can take place in the implementation of research studies, Failing in the Field is a valuable "how-not-to" handbook for conducting fieldwork and running randomized controlled trials in development settings.
Learning is the foundation of the human experience. It begins at birth and never stops, a continuous and malleable link across life stages of human development. Disparities in learning access and outcomes around the world have deep consequences for income, social mobility, health, and well-being. For international development practitioners faced with today's unprecedented environmental and geopolitical pressures, learning should be viewed as a touchstone and target for those seeking to truly effect global change. This book traces the path of international development work—from its pre-colonial origins to the emergence of economics as the dominant discipline in the field—and lays out a new agenda for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners, from early education through adulthood. Learning as Development is an attempt to rethink international education in a changing world.
Readership: Students and scholars of ritual studies, religious studies, anthropology

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