Development Evaluation of ICT for Development/Telecenter Projects Using Propensity Score Matching
5th Communication Policy Research South (CPRsouth5), Xi'an, China
18 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 7, 2010
Irrespective of quantitative or qualitative, ex-post evaluation techniques proposed in telecenter literature suffer from the drawback of non-experimental design that does not isolate the outcome of a treatment from other possible influences. Ex-ante experimental design is ideal as controlled experimentation directly co-relates the outcome to treatment, but not practical everywhere. Difficulties in the initial identification of beneficiaries and formation of control groups make robust experimental design not feasible.
A compromise is presented with quasi experimental design. When the evaluator has little or no control over the allocation of the treatments or other factors being studied, this is a more feasible approach. The key difference in this empirical approach is the absence of random assignment. This study experiments the use of the Propensity Score Matching, a quasi experimental approach for the evaluation of ICT4D/telecenter efforts. While reducing the bias of treatment-effect estimates from observational studies, it compares the outcome shown by the treatment group with that of a ‘comparison group’, instead of a control group to answer the counterfactual question ‘What would have happened to those who did receive treatment, if they had not received treatment?’ A case study is presented for illustration purposes.
Keywords: Evaluation, Telecenters, Propensity Score Matching, ICT4D
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