November 03, 2015
News /
Posted by NCID

The Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) at University of Navarra invites applications for Assistant Professor (Tenure-track positions) and for Post-doctoral positions. 

Applicants are expected to have a doctoral degree in Economics or Political Science and a specialization in the fields of Development Economics or Political Economy. Those with research experience in the fields of migrations, innovation and technology transfer, political economy and weak institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Candidates must have a commitment to scholarly research and are expected to develop an active research program leading to both scientific publications and successful policy design. 

Applications should include: 

1. Cover letter, stating the availability at ASSA and SAEe meeting and interest for Assistant Professor or Post-doctoral position; 
2. Curriculum vitae; 
3. Job market paper; 
4. Three letters of recommendation. 
5. A short essay on the reasons why the candidate applies for this position at the NCID 

Interviews will take place during the SAEe Meetings in Girona and during the ASSA Meetings in San Francisco. 

Informal inquiries about the center or the posts may be addressed to Dr. Alex Armand, 


Applications should be made through EconJobMarket (link) or the American Economics Association (link).

Alternatively, the application can be sent by postal mail to 

Paul Atwell, 
Navarra Center for International Development (ICS) 
Universidad de Navarra, 
Edificio de Bibliotecas, 
31080 Pamplona, 


Or an email to


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October 29, 2018
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Posted by NCID

El investigador residente del Navarra Center for International Development (NCID), Luis Alberiko Gil-Ala帽a, vol贸 a Guatemala recientemente para participar en el Seminario Investigadores Econ贸micos de Guatemala 2018 que organiza y acoge el Banco de Guatemala cada a帽o. La sesi贸n tuvo lugar el pasado 25 de octubre y congreg贸 a investigadores que realizan estudios econ贸micos sobre el pa铆s centroamericano.  

Luis Alberiko abri贸 la segunda de las cuatro sesiones que tuvieron lugar. El investigador present贸 su estudio A FCVAR Model For The Central American Economy, en el que ha trabajado conjuntamente con el ex ayudante de invstigaci贸n del NCID y actual empleado del Banco de Lituania H茅ctor C谩rcel. La investigaci贸n utiliza t茅cnicas univariables y multivariables en el an谩lisis de la econom铆a de Am茅rica Central teniendo en cuenta tres variables: precio, ratios de inter茅s y la base monetaria en los seis pa铆ses que conforman el CMCA (Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua y la Rep煤blica Dominicana).

Su sesi贸n la comparti贸 con otras dos conferencias. La primera fue impartida por Astrid Alaya y Szabolcs Blazsek de la Escuela de Negocios de la Universidad Francisco Marroqu铆n, quienes presentaron su investigaci贸n New score-driven models for trimming and winsorizing: An application for Guatemalan Quetzal to US Dollar. La sesi贸n fue clausurada por Karina Lisseth Ram铆rez Morales con su estudio Relaci贸n entre productividad y tipo de cambio real: Efecto Balassa-Samuelson para 17 pa铆ses de Am茅rica Latina.

El investigador del NCID asegura que 鈥渇ue un evento interesante relacionado con el an谩lisis de series temporales con el objetivo de conseguir estabilidad financiera y monetaria en Guatemala鈥.

October 29, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) Resident Fellow Luis Alberiko Gil-Alana flew to Guatemala to participate in the 2018 Seminar of Economic Researchers of Guatemala (SIEG) which the central Banco de Guatemala organizes each year. The session took place last 25th of October and congregated top researchers from all around the world who undergo economic research on the Central American country.

Luis Alberiko presented during the second of the four sessions that took place at the event. He presented the paper A FCVAR Model For The Central American Economy, in which he has co-worked with former NCID research assistant and current Bank of Lithuania鈥檚 H茅ctor C谩rcel. The investigation uses univariate and multivariate I(d) techniques in the analysis of the Central American economy by looking at three variables, prices, interest rates and monetary base on the six countries that form the CMCA (Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Dominican Rep.).

His session was shared with other two conferences. The first was by Astrid Alaya and Szabolcs Blazsek from the School of Business of the Francisco Marroqu铆n University, who presented their paper New score-driven models for trimming and winsorizing: An application for Guatemalan Quetzal to US Dollar. The session was closed by Karina Lisseth Ram铆rez Morales with her paper Relaci贸n entre productividad y tipo de cambio real: Efecto Balassa-Samuelson para 17 pa铆ses de Am茅rica Latina.

The NCID researcher says it was 鈥渁n interesting event related with the analysis of temporal series with the objective of achieving financial and monetary stability in Guatemala.

October 24, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

This opinion piece was originally published on Apolitical by David Soler, a research assistant at the Navarra Center for International Development. It reflects upon the investigation Presidential Term Limits And Democratic Development In Sub-Saharan Africa鈥嬧嬧嬧嬧嬧鈥. Apolitical is a global network for government, helping public servants find the ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges facing our societies. Please visit for further articles.

Teodoro Obiang has ruled over the tiny, oil-rich nation of Equatorial Guinea since the successful coup d鈥檈tat he leaded in 1979. He was re-elected president of his party for an indefinite term last year, paving the way for him to run again in the 2022 elections. He鈥檚 the longest-serving president in Africa 鈥 and first in the line of succession is his son. Obiang is not a unique case. Seven of the ten current longest-serving presidents are from African nations: Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Uganda, Chad, Eritrea, Sudan and Congo. African leaders want to die in power.

In the 1990s, the fall of the USSR and pressure from foreign donors led to a wave of democratisation in Africa. A total of 33 countries adopted a two-term limit for their leaders. But as longtime leaders have seen the end of their administrations approaching, they have manoeuvred to extend their time in office through parliamentary bills, referenda, and violent and unlawful constitutional changes.

Data shows that establishing a two-term limit for presidents helps a country鈥檚 democratic development. The seven African countries with the longest-serving presidents are assessed as 鈥渘ot free鈥 by Freedom House, and as 鈥渁uthoritarian regimes鈥 in The Economist鈥檚 2017 Democracy Index. Term limits also have a positive impact on a country鈥檚 peace and stability. Only two out of the 21 countries that have upheld constitutional limits are currently in conflict, while six of the 18 that have either overruled or never established term limits struggle with clashes and war. A third benefit of term limits is that incumbents hold an unfair advantage when running for re-election. 

However, there are also reasons to doubt how effective term limits really are at fostering development. For one thing, they are compatible with authoritarian rule. In Tanzania and Mozambique, the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi and Mozambique Liberation Front have changed presidents every two terms without ever relinquishing power. It鈥檚 also arguable whether alternating between parties is necessary for a democracy. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are all considered democracies despite having a single party in power since independence. And African dictators often argue that term limits are an undemocratic Western imposition.

The most recent Afrobarometer poll found about 75% of Africans agree with limiting a president to two terms. If democracy is about listening the will of the people, the message is clear: people all across the continent have voiced their desire for a new leader every two terms. 鈥 David Soler

September 21, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

Los investigadores residentes del Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) Alex Armand y Joseph Gomes han presentado su investigaci贸n pionera El Alcance de la Radio: Mensajes de Deserci贸n y el Comportamiento de Grupos Armados en dos centros de investigaci贸n l铆deres en el mundo: el National Economic Bureau of Research (NBER) en Boston y el programa Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) del Banco Mundial en Washington D.C. Adem谩s, Gomes presentar谩 el proyecto en la reuni贸n anual de la American Economic Association el pr贸ximo 4 de enero de 2019 en Atlanta, Estados Unidos.

El estudio innovador, conducido por Armand y Gomes, ha recibido un gran inter茅s alrededor del mundo. El proyecto analiza c贸mo las retransmisiones por radio FM han sido utilizadas como una herramienta no violenta y de bajo coste para conseguir convencer a los combatientes a deponer las armas en lugares remotos de dif铆cil acceso. Con el apoyo econ贸mico de la Fundaci贸n Ram贸n Areces, los dos acad茅micos han trabajado junto con el ex-ayudante de investigaci贸n del NCID Paul Atwell desde el a帽o 2017 para mostrar la primera evaluaci贸n cuantitativa de una pol铆tica en activo de contra-insurgencia.

La investigaci贸n se centra en la insurgencia Ej茅rcito de Resistencia del Se帽or (LRA, por sus siglas en ingl茅s), uno de los mayores conflictos en 脕frica. Tras recolectar datos originales de difusiones de radio que encomendaban a la defecci贸n, los resultados mostraron que estas retransmisiones reducen las fatalidades, la violencia contra los civiles y los altercados con los cuerpos de seguridad. El an谩lisis demuestra que los incentivos econ贸micos son vitales para la efectividad de esta herramienta.

La publicaci贸n fue presentada por primera vez el pasado 23 de julio en el NBER Summer Institute 2018 Economics of National Security. Armand, Gomes y Atwell compartieron ponencia junto con investigadores de prestigiosas instituciones como Stanford University y University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, entre otras. Tras las vacaciones estivales, Armand vol贸 a Washington D.C. el 18 de septiembre para impartir un seminario en las oficinas centrales del Banco Mundial. Finalmente, Gomes presentar谩 el proyecto en la sesi贸n sobre econom铆a y seguridad nacional en la reuni贸n anual de la American Economic Association Annual Meeting.

September 21, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

NCID Resident Fellows Alex Armand and Joseph Flavian Gomes have presented their investigation The Reach of Radio: Ending Civil Conflict through Rebel Demobilization at the leading research centers National Economic Bureau of Research (NBER) in Boston and at World Bank's Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) program in Washington D.C. Gomes will also present the paper at the American Economic Association's Annual Meeting in Atlanta next January 4th, 2019.

The cutting-edge research conducted by Armand and Gomes has received interest from all around the globe. The project analyzes how FM radio broadcasts have been used as a low-cost, non-violent instrument to draw combatants out of war in otherwise hard to reach remote areas. With the economic support of the Fundaci贸n Ram贸n Areces, the two researchers have worked with former NCID Research Assistant Paul Atwell since 2017 to provide the first quantitative evaluation of an active counter-insurgency policy.

The researchers focused their investigation on the Lord鈥檚 Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency, one of Africa鈥檚 longest running conflicts. After collecting original data on radio broadcasts encouraging defections on the LRA case, results showed that broadcasting defection messages reduces fatalities, violence against civilians and clashes with security forces. These reductions are propelled by an increase in defections. In this situation, the LRA resorts to increased looting for survival. Furthermore, the analysis found that economic incentives are vital for the program's effectiveness. Conflict-enhancing commodity price shocks weaken the pacifying effects of defection messaging, whilst conflict-reducing shocks strengthen the peace.

The paper was first presented last 23rd of July at NBER's Summer Institute 2018 Economics of National Security program by the three researchers. Armand, Gomes and Atwell shared presentations with Stanford University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers, amongst others. After summer, the 18th of September, Armand was invited to deliver a DIME seminar at the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. on the same paper. Gomes will present the paper at the Economics of National Security paper session within the American Economic Association Annual Meeting.

September 06, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

Con el apoyo del Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), el director del Navarra Center for International Development, Luis Ravina, y el ayudante de investigaci贸n, Iv谩n Kim, fueron recibidos el verano pasado por la Polic铆a Nacional de Filipinas (PNP), las Fuerzas Armadas y otras instituciones, en un viaje al sudeste asi谩tico y al Pac铆fico que tambi茅n incluy贸 visitas a Singapur y Vietnam.

El ISA es una organizaci贸n amiga del NCID que re煤ne a diferentes actores de la poblaci贸n civil para hacer de la gobernanza una "responsabilidad compartida". Tambi茅n cuenta con una tarjeta de puntuaci贸n del Performance Governance System (PGS) para agencias gubernamentales y unidades del gobierno local, que busca 鈥渁bordar la corrupci贸n, mejorar los servicios y atraer inversiones en el pa铆s". En la reuni贸n donde el ISA present贸 el PGS al personal de NCID, representantes de la Polic铆a Nacional compartieron su experiencia con el Patrol Plan 2030, una estrategia completa para mejorar el rol de la PNP como instituci贸n para el pa铆s.

Otras reuniones importantes fueron con el Ej茅rcito y la Marina de Filipinas. Ambas instituciones, a trav茅s de representantes del alto mando, enfatizaron su reputaci贸n en la opini贸n p煤blica, sus desaf铆os, visi贸n, misi贸n y resultados en 谩reas internas y externas. Mientras tanto, el director del NCID, Luis Ravina, habl贸 sobre el trabajo que hace el centro, buscando colaboraci贸n futura entre ambas partes.

En Filipinas, tambi茅n hubo encuentros con Winston Padojinog, Presidente de la Universidad de Asia y el Pac铆fico, para hablar sobre proyectos comunes. Adem谩s, el NCID fue recibido por representantes del Philippine Heart Center, que compartieron el camino del hospital hacia la institucionalizaci贸n, y por personal oficial de las ciudades de Legazpi y Balanga, quienes hablaron sobre la situaci贸n de las instituciones locales, proyectos de desarrollo en ambas ciudades y c贸mo miden el 茅xito en sus pol铆ticas.

Finalmente, ambos miembros del NCID fueron a Singapur y Vietnam, donde se reunieron respectivamente con Nonito Bernardo, parte de la Corporaci贸n Financiera Internacional y experto en proyectos de privatizaci贸n, y con los investigadores Manuel Clavel y Dominic Cooray.

September 06, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

With the support of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), the Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) Director Luis Ravina and Research Assistant Iv谩n Kim were received by the Philippines鈥 National Police (PNP), Armed Forces and other institutions this past summer, in a trip to Southeast Asia and the Pacific that also included Singapore and Vietnam.

The ISA is a close friend organization of the NCID that brings together different actors of the civil population to make governance a 鈥渟hared responsibility鈥. It also has a Performance Government System (PGS) scorecard for government agencies and local government units that 鈥渟eeks to address corruption, improve services and attract investments in the country鈥. In the meeting where they presented the PGS to NCID鈥檚 staff, representatives of the National Police shared their experience with the Patrol Plan 2030, a complete strategy to enhance PNP鈥檚 role as an institution for the country.

Other important meetings were with the Philippines鈥 Army and Navy. Both institutions, through representatives of the high command, emphasized their reputation in the public opinion, their challenges, vision, mission and results in internal and external areas. Meanwhile, Mr. Ravina talked about the work that the NCID does, seeking for future collaboration.

In the Philippines, Mr. Ravina and Mr. Kim also met with Winston Padojinog, President of the University of Asia and the Pacific, to talk about common projects. Furthermore, they were received by representatives of the Philippine Heart Center, who shared the road to institutionalization of the hospital, and from the cities of Legazpi and Balanga, who talked about the situation of the local institutions, development projects in both cities and how do they measure success in their policies.

Finally, both NCID members went to the Singapore and Vietnam, where they  respectively met Nonito Bernardo, part of the International Finance Corporation and expert in privatization projects, and researchers Manuel Clavel and Dominic Cooray.

September 19, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

This opinion piece was originally published on Apolitical by Alex Armand, NCID resident fellow and assistant professor at the University of Navarra. It reflects upon the investigation Identifying the effect of targeted money transfers on women鈥檚 empowerment. Apolitical is a global network for government, helping public servants find the ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges facing our societies. Please visit for further articles.


Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is an ambitious goal, and one that is central to the UN Sustainable Development Goals鈥 post-2015 development agenda. An important domain in which it can be pursued is the family: it鈥檚 here that countless decisions affecting women鈥檚 futures are taken. Yet the role of women within dwellings鈥 walls represents a black box: women鈥檚 participation in household decisions is hard to observe, and even more arduous to quantify.

Given this measurement challenge, can we even set realistic targets for female empowerment within the family, let alone achieve them?

In the past few decades, measurement has mainly been done through survey questions on gendered participation in household decision-making. A typical set of questions asks respondents to identify the family member in charge of different decisions 鈥 for instance, who decides about food expenditures or about schooling. Higher female participation supposedly shows stronger empowerment.

However, reaching conclusions based on these measures can be misleading: social norms or other constraints can dictate certain answers, and indirect asks may not lead to answers that paint a true picture of reality.

Are empowerment programs failing?

Since the 1990s, women-targeted cash transfers have become a common tool policymakers in developing countries use to target female empowerment. A large number of income-supporting social programs have selected women to be the recipients of government money, including Mexico鈥檚 PROGRESA/Oportunidades (now relabelled as Prospera).

These interventions promote gender equality in the family by raising female control of household income. Many studies show the effectiveness of these programs in shifting diverse household outcomes in a substantive fashion. But effects on self-reported measures of women鈥檚 empowerment have hardly been observed.

Have these programs failed at empowering women? Or are we just failing at measuring it? To find answers, we need new and innovative ways of measuring female empowerment.

One such recent attempt comes from researchers at IIES Stockholm, University of Navarra and University College London. The new approach observes women鈥檚 choices in a lab setting, but facing real-life decisions. A participating woman receives an offer: a financial transfer for her household. The recipient is her partner. She can then choose to accept the deal or to pay a small cost to keep the amount for herself. The new measure then quantifies how much a woman would be willing to pay to keep control of the transfer. The researchers suggest that higher willingness to sacrifice money for control reflects weak control of household resources 鈥 and thereby means lower empowerment.

Macedonia鈥檚 cash transfer program

This new measure was used to study the effects of women-targeted cash transfers, with a focus on the Macedonian 鈥淐onditional Cash Transfer (CCT) for Secondary School Education鈥. This is a cash transfer program supporting secondary school enrolment across poor households.

In conjunction with researchers, the Macedonian government experimented with two different versions of the program. In half of the country, the woman in the household received the transfer. In the other half, the household head, generally the man, received it.

A comparison of these two groups allowed studying the effect of women-targeted cash transfers using the new lab test measure of empowerment. What did it show? The women in the study were, on the whole, willing to sacrifice some household income to receive the money in the lab test. But they were less willing to sacrifice it when they had already been receiving a cash transfer from the program.

The cash transfer really had made a difference to their household control 鈥 but that was not captured at all using the traditional measure of self-reported survey questions around empowerment.

Women-targeted transfers are indeed affecting female empowerment. At least in one of its many dimensions. By restricting our analysis to self-reported answers, we have, for years, been mistakenly assuming we have been capturing their full impact.

If we are serious in our aim for gender equality, we need to encourage more experimentation around its measurement. Traditional measures are failing at capturing the real impact of money spent on empowerment programming all around the world.


February 19, 2018
News /
Posted by NCID

The Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) of the University of Navarra has been ranked one of the best think tanks in the world for third consecutive year, as listed by the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2017 of the University of Pennsylvania (USA).

The center, which belongs to the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), is the only spanish center in the category of best university associated think tanks, where is ranked the 58th out of 90 centers across the globe.

This ranking confirms the international status of the center, which is considered above other institutions of presitigious universities such as Princeton (USA), Harvard (USA), Oxford (UK) or MIT (USA).

For the raking, which the University of Pennsylvania drafts since 2007, more than 7.7815 think tanks were analized, of which 1.931 are from North America and 1.770 european. More than 7.500 journalists, policy makers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists 

Policy impact evaluation 

The NCID is formed by an interdisciplinary team of economists, urbanists, journalists and sociologists. Their investigations focus on alleviating extreme poverty in the world鈥檚 poorest countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Currently, the center is undergoing investigations in various Subsaharan African countries, as well as in India and Bolivia. 

One of the center's strategies is to study regions where a specific public policy has helped to alleviate poverty. With impact evaluation policies, the NCID focuses on generating ideas that can solve chronic problems realted to poverty, corruption and violence, amongst others. 

In this last academic year, the center has opened its areas of interests to include the expansion of urban cities in Africa and the democratic development in Subsaharan Africa. 

Radio's use in conflict, a current project

One of the ongoing investigations analyzes the power of radio to end armed conflict. The project, The Reach of Radio: Defection Messaging and Armed Group Behavior, led by NCID's Resident Fellows Alex Armand and Joseph Gomes, analizes the effect of The Voice Project, a radio program, in reducing armed conflict and fatalities perpetrated by the Lord Resistance Army of Joseph Kony.

Relatives, former combatants and local leaders offer their voice through radio to convince soldiers that they would be gladly accepted in their community if they escape from conflict, and that the amnesty law would effectively protect them. Results showed that with one hour of broadcasting a day, fatalities reduced up to 7 per cent.

The center also has other ongoing projects, such as The Geography of Ethno-linguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods, led by NCID Resident Fellow Joseph Gomes, which has the goal of understanding how ethnic diversity plays a role in the provision of public goods.

Access the full ranking here.


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