Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Second phase of the baseline: Group Dynamics

As NUSAF YOP funding is going to groups rather than individuals, the success of each individual is closely tied in a number of important ways to the group. The second phase of the baseline includes a few ways we have come up with to capture group effects.

First, the skills of the other group members may be important for an individual’s success. Data on education of everyone in the group and details on 4 other people in the group was captured in the first baseline. In the second phase, we will expand some of our original questions to more people with a short questionnaire to capture more information on skills training and the qualities of the leaders of the groups.

Second, we will run experiments derived from game theory in order to capture the dynamics of the interactions between group members. We will measure such qualities as altruism towards other members, trust and the ability to overcome collective action problems by using the dictator, ultimatum, investment and public goods games. I have some preliminary group and individual scripts of the investment and public goods games that I will use on a selection of volunteers in West Nile and Iteso regions over the next two weeks. I have run them in Kitgum with good success, but want to give them another run.

The timing of this phase of the baseline is important. The groups have just been given their funding and so are now either in training or have begun work, and so are interacting closely. By measuring their quality of interaction now, we hope to be able to capture data that may give some clues as to the success of individuals, as well as predict how long the groups will be together in the future. We are also curious to see the interaction of group leaders with the group, perhaps giving some important clues as to preference of equality, from both individuals in the group and the group leaders. Put an-other way, does corrupt leadership and willingness to accept this corruption has a negative impact on group performance?

I will update the progress of the pre-testing of this component in the next few weeks.

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