A Few Final Thoughts

When we first came here it was just the three of us: Clay, Emily, and me. We came from diverse backgrounds and we brought different skills to the table. We were a great team. However, we became stronger both as a team and individually as we were exposed to our work and research at Instituto Mora.

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I’m truly glad that I had an opportunity to go abroad and serve at ObservaCoop over the summer, and in full Spanish as well. Indeed, when I saw “capacity building” on my scope of work I had no idea of how involved I would be in the daily operations of ObservaCoop – everyday I saw the immediate impact of my work, and it felt satisfying.

However, I have to say that because of the nature of the program and the relative newness of the AidData-ObservaCoop partnership, I felt like I missed several opportunities to expand my academic horizons, although I gained several administrative skills along the way. Fortunately I was able to use the data that we produced to run some basic regressions on the relationship between EU aid allocation and recipient need in Mexico at the state level – the sparse literature on the use of subnational data for aid analysis highlights the importance of geocoded data for future aid-related investigations, and it has been very exciting to be at the forefront of this movement – and in another country.

I would just like to thank the Charles Center and AidData for making this possible for me as well as ObservaCoop for hosting me and my colleagues this summer. As I learn more about statistical tools and as more granular datasets are produced, I look forward to investigating patterns of aid allocation and perhaps improving its efficiency.