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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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Poultry Loans

Poultry Loans

Trying to Fly without a Pilot

(p.105) Chapter 9 Poultry Loans
Failing in the Field

Dean Karlan

Jacob Appel

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the Poultry Loan, a credit-to-savings intervention. Through an informational and promotional campaign, the researchers recruited fifty participants willing to try poultry farming and launched a pilot. At this stage the research did not include an impact evaluation but just sought to determine whether the model was operationally viable. Strictly speaking, this case is not a failure. It is actually a prime example of an appropriate pilot. That said, even the limited pilot offers failures worth discussing, all related to the research setting. First, at the front line of implementation, local financial services organization Sahastradhara KGFS's unexpectedly lengthy software update caused a timing problem. Second, the complexity of the intervention made it challenging to roll out all at once. The third lesson goes back to the beginning of the story, before Poultry Loans were even an idea.

Keywords:   Poultry Loan, credit-to-savings intervention, poultry farming, pilot, research setting, timing problem

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