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Failing in the FieldWhat We Can Learn When Field Research Goes Wrong$
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Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183138

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183138.001.0001

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Credit and Financial Literacy Training

Credit and Financial Literacy Training

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(p.73) Chapter 6 Credit and Financial Literacy Training
Failing in the Field

Dean Karlan

Jacob Appel

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines a study conducted with the Peruvian microfinance institution Arariwa, which explores a number of questions regarding technology's potential and proper role as a development tool by implementing and testing a multimedia financial education program for clients. In this case, there are two major areas of failures: research setting and partner organization challenges. There were a few distinct instances of the former. First, the field sites presented challenges to the use of technology. Second, the intervention itself was deceptively complex. Finally, there was an element of bad timing in the flooding that caused repayment problems for some clients, thus adding stress to loan officers' already full plates. Indeed, competing priorities were a key partner organization challenge in this case. Loan officers were expected to deliver trainings without any lapses in, or relief from, their basic duties.

Keywords:   technology, development tool, research setting, partner organization challenges, intervention, bad timing, competing priorities, financial education program

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