The Thought Leadership Paper series launched in August 2012 as another path for Abt Associates’ talented staff to share their ideas with the world. The series includes working papers, white papers, and re-publications representing a rich diversity of thought leadership from across Abt Associates. Papers in the series undergo a peer review process.

"Technical Assistance for Economic Governance: A Guide to Select, Develop, and Implement Economic Policy Projects"

Identifying opportunities for technical assistance on economic development can be tricky and overwhelming. Project managers face a multitude of policy initiatives, programs, and institutions—directly or indirectly devoted to achieving economic growth—to choose from under time, know-how and budget constraints. Economic development initiatives have the particularity of taking time to produce results and even then impact can be hard to observe if careful monitoring and evaluation are not in place. Abt’s Narciso Suárez and Lucía Gamboa propose an approach for pre-selecting, planning, and implementing international economic development projects through foreign technical assistance. 

"The Centers of Excellence Approach in the Dominican Republic: Empowering Teams to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes"

This paper by Elizabeth Conklin, Alexandra Hulme, and Carlos Cuellar describes how a “Centers of Excellence” capacity building approach in the Dominican Republic brought about changes in the health system that led to service delivery and quality improvements and substantial reductions in maternal and neonatal mortality.

"Empowering Vulnerable Populations to Build Resilience: Concept Note and Project-Based Applications"

Thierry van Bastelaer proposes a simple framework to analyze resilience and to guide the development of programs to strengthen it across the domestic and international spheres. The paper is guided and illustrated by Abt Associates’ experience with almost 50 years of research and implementation programs in areas as diverse as social and economic policy, health, food security, and climate change. Beyond arguing for the broad applicability of the concept of resilience across these areas, the paper also sets out to identify four resilience-enhancing strategies that, when combined, significantly increase the effectiveness of risk management efforts. Finally, the paper underscores the potential for cross-fertilization between the domestic and international applications of resilience.

Read more Thought Leadership Papers:

A Review of Methods to Evaluate HIV Prevention Interventions for People Who Inject Drugs in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Methods, Gaps, Challenges and Opportunities Theodore M. Hammett, Ph.D., and Danielle S. Parsons-Smith, M.P.H. July 2014
How Much Money Should Be Set Aside for Accruals in HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration? Meryl Finkel May 2013
The Moving to Opportunity Demonstration’s Impact on Health and Well-being Among High Dosage Participants Shawn Moulton, Laura R. Peck, and Keri-Nicole Dillman February 2013
UI in the Early 21st Century Jacob Alex Klerman January 2013
What Works for Addressing the What Works Question in Field Experiments Laura R. Peck July 2012
Obstacles to and Limitations of Social Experiments: 15 False Alarms Stephen H. Bell & Laura R. Peck June 2012
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