Richard is currently working on impact assessment, linked to supervision of Maren Duvendack's recently completed thesis 'Smoke and Mirrors: Evidence from Microfinance Impact Evaluations in India and Bangladesh' (2010). The thesis identifies borrowing from multiple sources as a neglected feature of quantitative evaluations of the impacts of microfinance and applies Propensity Score Matching and sensitivity analysis to show that the evidence of impacts of microfinance on well-being in two iconic studies (on SEWA Bank by Chen, 1999,  and on Grameen Bank, BRAC and the BRDB in Bangladesh by Pitt and Khandker, 1998) is not robust.

He is participating in an Impact Evaluation of the Mae Lao Irrigation Improvment Project with the Centre for Project and Policy Evaluation of the Office of Agricultural Economics, Government of Thailand, funded by 3ie. He is leading the design of  a new Master of Science in Impact Evaluation for Development and a Short Course in Impact Evaluation for Evidence Based Policy in Development (with Maren Duvendack and Ben D'Exelle). He has been reviewer for 3ie Open Windows and am peer advisor on two 3ie funded projects.

He recently participated in a DFID Funded Gender and Growth Assessment  with Nitya Rao and Elissaios Papyrakis of DEV and colleagues at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, the GGA-Nigeria seeks to analyse the gendered impacts of growth in Nigeria over the last decade. The assessment involved statistical analysis, of the gender and growth linkage, and of micro-economic data from the Nigeria Living Standards measurement Survey (2003), Nigerian Demographic and Health Surveys, and the Multiple Indicators Cluster Surveys, a review of the grey literature on the impacts of growth processes in different regions of the country on men and women, and two sub-national case studies in Lagos and Kano. The study was initiated in April 2008 and completed by September 2009.  

In recent years he has been working on the measurement of poverty particularly in Bangladesh and India. He is an economist specialising in poverty, agriculture and natural resources (especially water) and environment, rural development and political economy. In recent years he has specialised in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, with special reference to agricultural growth, poverty trends, groundwater development and irrigation service markets. Earlier he did much work in Malawi and Nigeria. He does formal and informal field work, and quantitative, statistical and econometric analysis as well as discursive analysis and has an interest in Geographical Information Systems.

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