New Standards in Development Data

LSMS Team Members, Talip Kilic (PhD ’08, American University), Harriet Mugera, John Ilukor and Wilbert Vundru Drazi II, are currently in Mbarara, Isingiro, Masaka and Bukomansimbi districts of Uganda, working alongside the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) management (Director Patrick Okello) and field teams; the Precision Agriculture Research Group of the University of New England (Andrew James Robson & Derek Schneider); and the World Agroforestry Center in support of the Methodological Experiment on Banana Variety Identification and Soil Fertility Measurement (BaVIS) field operations.

BaVIS is attempting to test the accuracy of (i) farmer-reported information on banana variety names and attributes compared to DNA fingerprinting of banana leaf samples; (ii) sub-meter spatial resolution satellite imagery based remote sensing of banana varieties compared to DNA fingerprinting and high-accuracy spectroscopy measures of banana leaf samples; and (iii) low-cost, handheld sensors for field-based soil fertility measurement compared to wet chemistry informed lab-based infrared spectroscopy.

The methods that are being tested are specific to a 10x10m sub-plot that is placed randomly in one randomly selected banana plot of each of approximately 600 households interviewed with the World Bank Survey Solutions CAPI software across the four districts of interest.

Credit to the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study Facebook page for this great post and pictures. Visit their page to stay up to date on their work!

Professor Spotlight: Boris Gershman

Boris Gershman has been on the faculty of American University since 2012. Born and raised in Moscow, he came to the United States in 2007 and earned his PhD degree in Economics from Brown University in 2012. His primary research focuses on the deep determinants of long-term economic growth and development and the economics of culture. He is also active in the field of agent-based computational macroeconomics. Professor Gershman’s recent work has been published in the Journal of Development EconomicsJournal of Economic GrowthJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and Macroeconomic Dynamics.

He has also recently been featured in Bild and Seeker:

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