One of SALDRU’s post-doc fellows, Muna Shifa, recently returned from a 9-week stint at the University of Oxford.
Muna was invited to visit Oxford University by the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE). The CSAE is part of the Social Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, with researchers in the Department of Economics, the Blavatnik School of Government, and the Oxford Department for International Development.
Whilst abroad, Muna participated in weekly workshops with a special focus on Africa. She was also afforded the opportunity to attend a major annual conference hosted by CSAE.
Muna was struck by the growing trend, internationally, in experimental research. People from the U.S. and the U.K. all seem to be collecting data through experimental research such as that done in SALDRU within J-PAL Africa, and the work on social cohesion. Muna raises the importance of the need to integrate this kind of work with social survey work.
Whilst at Oxford, Muna co-authored a working paper with the director of the CSAE, Stefan Dercon, titled, “Land Titling, Tenure Arrangements and Agriculture Investments in Ethiopia”. She was given the opportunity to present the first draft of her working paper at a seminar and received good feedback.
Muna was in Oxford during one of the severest winters the region has experienced in years, so she spent much of her time indoors. She did however manage to occasionally escape to some of her UK-based family members to indulge in home comforts and home-cooked food.