Enumerating development: how interdisciplinary perspectives on the treatment of research officers can improve data for social transformation

This project explores the lived experience of field officers in Kenya and Uganda.
Project status


Evidence-based interventions in the Global South promise scalable and replicable development, assuming that the collection of high-quality data can be controlled for. This interdisciplinary research project analyses that assumption by attending to a crucial actor in the data-collecting apparatus: local field officers (FOs). FOs have the geographic, linguistic, and cultural expertise to conduct surveys, experiments, and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that are crucial for knowledge production. But their lived experiences are under-examined. This is worrying because anecdotal evidence suggests that challenging working conditions contribute to the production of “bad data”. Bringing area studies and anthropology into conversation with behavioural science, this project explores the lived experience of FOs in Kenya and Uganda, generating theoretical insights alongside co-designing actionable insights for development policy and practice.

Principal Investigator: Dr Ben Eyre, University of East Anglia

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