Evans, David K.

Africa Chief Economist’s Office
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Education, Social Development
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Africa Chief Economist’s Office
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Last updated July 27, 2023
Bio: David is a Lead Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank. He coordinates impact evaluation work across sectors for the Africa Region. In the past, he worked as Senior Economist in the Human Development Department in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank, and as an economist designing and implementing impact evaluations in Africa. He has designed and implemented impact evaluations in agriculture, education, health, and social protection, in Brazil, the Gambia, Kenya, Mexico, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. He has taught economic development at the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy, and he holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Citations 420 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    The Permanent Input Hypothesis : The Case of Textbooks and (No) Student Learning in Sierra Leone
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-09) Sabarwal, Shwetlena ; Evans, David K. ; Marshak, Anastasia
    A textbook provision program in Sierra Leone demonstrates how volatility in the flow of government-provided learning inputs to schools can induce storage of these inputs by school administrators to smooth future consumption. This process in turn leads to low current utilization of inputs for student learning. A randomized trial of a public program providing textbooks to primary schools had modest positive impacts on teacher behavior but no impacts on student performance. In many treatment schools, student access to textbooks did not actually increase because a large majority of the books were stored rather than distributed to students. At the same time, the propensity to save books was positively correlated with uncertainty on the part of head teachers regarding government transfers of books. The evidence suggests that schools that have high uncertainty with respect to future transfers are more likely to store a high proportion of current transfers. These results show that reducing uncertainty in school input flows could result in higher current input use for student learning. For effective program design, public policy programs must take forward-looking behavior among intermediate actors into account.
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    The Next Wave of Deaths from Ebola?: The Impact of Health Care Worker Mortality
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07) Evans, David K. ; Goldstein, Markus ; Popova, Anna
    The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa has put a huge strain on already weak health systems. Ebola deaths have been disproportionately concentrated among health care workers, exacerbating existing skill shortages in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in a way that will negatively affect the health of the populations even after Ebola has been eliminated. This paper combines data on cumulative health care worker deaths from Ebola, the stock of health care workers and mortality rates pre-Ebola, and coefficients that summarize the relationship between health care workers in a given country and rates of maternal, infant, and under-five mortality. The paper estimates how the loss of health care workers to Ebola will likely affect non-Ebola mortality even after the disease is eliminated. It then estimates the size of the resource gap that needs to be filled to avoid these deaths, and to reach the minimum thresholds of health coverage described in the Millennium Development Goals. Maternal mortality could increase by 38 percent in Guinea, 74 percent in Sierra Leone, and 111 percent in Liberia due to the reduction in health personnel caused by the epidemic. This translates to an additional 4,022 women dying per year across the three most affected countries. To avoid these deaths, 240 doctors, nurses, and midwives would need to be immediately hired across the three countries. This is a small fraction of the 43,565 doctors, nurses, and midwives that would need to be hired to achieve the adequate health coverage implied by the Millennium Development Goals. Substantial investment in health systems is urgently required not only to improve future epidemic preparedness, but also to limit the secondary health effects of the current epidemic owing to the depletion of the health workforce.
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    Orphans and Ebola : Estimating the Secondary Impact of a Public Health Crisis
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-02) Evans, David K. ; Popova, Anna
    The 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa is the largest to date by far. Ebola Virus Disease causes disproportionate mortality among the working-age population, resulting in far more mortality for parents of young children than other health crises. This paper combines data on the age distribution of current and projected mortality from Ebola with the fertility distribution of adults in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, to estimate the likely impact of the epidemic on the number of orphans in these three countries. Using the latest mortality estimates (from February 11, 2015), it is estimated that more than 9,600 children have lost one or both parents to Ebola Virus Disease. The absolute numbers of orphans created by the Ebola epidemic are significant, but represent a small fraction (1.4 percent) of the existing orphan burden in the affected countries. Ebola is unlikely to increase the numbers of orphans beyond extended family networks' capacities to absorb them. Nonetheless, the pressures of caring for increased numbers of orphans may result in lower quality of care. These estimates should be used to guide policy to support family networks to improve the capacity to provide high quality care to orphans.
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    Correspondence: Health-Care Worker Mortality and the Legacy of the Ebola Epidemic
    (Elsevier, 2015-07-09) Evans, David K. ; Goldstein, Markus ; Popova, Anna
    The authors modelled how the loss of health-care workers—defined here as doctors, nurses, and midwives—to Ebola might affect maternal, infant, and under-5 mortality in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, with the aim of characterising the order of magnitude of likely effects, not providing specific predictions. The authors combined data on: (1) health-care worker deaths from Ebola; (2) the stock of health-care workers pre-Ebola; (3) maternal, infant, and under-5 mortality rates for each country, pre-Ebola; and (4) coefficients of health-care worker mortality, which capture the relation between health-care workers in a given country and different mortality rates (ie, maternal, infant, and under-5 mortality).
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    An Analysis of Clinical Knowledge, Absenteeism, and Availability of Resources for Maternal and Child Health: A Cross-Sectional Quality of Care Study in 10 African Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Di Giorgio, Laura ; Evans, David K. ; Lindelow, Magnus ; Nguyen, Son Nam ; Svensson, Jakob ; Wane, Waly ; Tarneberg, Anna Welander
    This paper assesses the quality of health care across African countries based on health providers' clinical knowledge, their clinic attendance, and drug availability, with a focus on seven conditions accounting for a large share of child and maternal mortality: malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, pneumonia, diabetes, neonatal asphyxia, and postpartum hemorrhage. With nationally representative, cross-sectional data from 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, collected using clinical vignettes, unannounced visits, and visual inspections of facilities, this study assesses whether health providers are available and have sufficient knowledge and means to diagnose and treat patients suffering from common conditions amenable to primary health care. The study draws on data from 8,061 primary and secondary care facilities in Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda, and 22,746 health workers. These data were gathered under the Service Delivery Indicators program. Across all conditions and countries, health care providers were able to correctly diagnose 64 percent of the clinical vignette cases, and in 45 percent of the cases, the treatment plan was aligned with the correct diagnosis. For diarrhea and pneumonia, two common causes of under-five deaths, 27 percent of the providers correctly diagnosed and prescribed the appropriate treatment for both conditions. On average, 70 percent of health workers were present in the facilities to provide care during facility hours when those workers were scheduled to be on duty. Taken together, the estimated likelihood that a facility has at least one staff present with competency and the key inputs required to provide child, neonatal, and maternity care that meets minimum quality standards is 14 percent. Poor clinical knowledge is a greater constraint in care readiness than drug availability or health workers' absenteeism in the 10 countries. However, the paper documents substantial heterogeneity across countries.