Diagnostics and field experiments

Maarten Voors*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Field experiments have been embraced in development economics and political science as a core method to learn what development interventions work and why. Scientists across the globe actively engage with development practitioners to evaluate projects and programmes. However, even though field experiments have raised the bar on causality, they are often too narrowly defined and lack focus on structural development problems. Researchers and development practitioners should do more to improve the diagnostic process of the problem under study. Rodrik's (2010) diagnostic framework provides a useful tool to improve the design and relevance of field experiments. Specifically, more should be done to seek coordination across studies, broaden the scope for interdisciplinary collaborations and seek peer review to increase validation and verification of evaluations. Only then can we increase knowledge aggregation and improve development policy making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-84
JournalNJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Early online date6 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Development
  • Diagnostics
  • Field experiments
  • Institutions


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