(Pins in the GOV/LAB office map showing where we conduct research. Credit: Dante Delaney)

As scholarship around the political behavior of development increases, more graduate students are conducting research on the roles that intermediaries, informality, and bureaucrats play in governance, not to mention GOV/LAB’s bread and butter topics of citizen engagement and government responsiveness. Students are also moving towards closer collaboration with partners on the ground to help generate new and interesting research questions on political behavior with real world applications. Now, some of the students who’ve supported GOV/LAB in the field are joining the team.

Check out the bios below to learn more about Ying, Gabriel, and Lukas, GOV/LAB’s newest Graduate Research Assistants, and Neha, our undergraduate intern for the spring semester.

Left to right: New GOV/LAB team members Ying Gao, Gabriel Nahmias, and Lukas Wolters.

Ying Gao is a PhD student in comparative politics and political economy. Her first project at GOV/LAB explored different informal urban communities in Jakarta, Indonesia and she has also assisted in field experiment implementation in the Philippines. Her research interests are in public service provision, social institutions and state-society relations, particularly related to better governance in cities.

Gabriel Nahmias is a PhD student studying comparative politics and quantitative methodology with a regional focus on southern and East Africa. His work focuses on political participation, mobilization, and interest in politics, particularly of low-resource actors. With GOV/LAB, along with the occasional replication project, Gabriel helped to administer a field experiment in Kenya assessing variation in government transparency.

Lukas Wolters is a PhD student studying comparative politics and quantitative methodology. His research focuses on the political economy of development in Latin America, with a particular interest for service provision, local taxation, and bureaucrat behavior. Working with GOV/LAB graduate research fellow Tesalia Rizzo, Lukas conducted field research in Mexico, studying municipal bureaucracies and tax enforcement.

Neha Rajbhandary is a sophomore at Wellesley College (‘20) studying political science. Her interest in development has been shaped by work with large scale donor-funded development projects as well as local-level community-based civic engagement projects in her home country of Nepal. During her time at GOV/LAB, Neha hopes to broaden her understanding of government accountability beyond the Nepalese and South Asian contexts familiar to her. She will be working with graduate research fellow Leah Rosenzweig on a project exploring citizen engagement with candidates and parties during elections in Tanzania.