Nuole (Lula) Chen
Lula is the Research Director at MIT GOV/LAB, where she currently works on projects about trust, public goods, technology in government, and Covid-19, often focusing on the roles and attitudes of bureaucrats. She specializes in policy evaluation using randomized controlled trials, causal inference, and quantitative methods. She also studies how individual biases affect group decision-making in foreign policy. During her doctoral studies, she served as a Methods Specialist with the Office of Evaluation Sciences at the U.S. General Services Administration and conducted research on taxation and public service delivery in Malawi as a part of the EGAP Metaketa Initiative. Prior to starting her PhD, she was a program manager at Sister Cities International for U.S.-Chinese-African trilateral municipal cooperation projects. Lula holds a BSFS in Comparative Studies and an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Research March 2023
Uptake of COVID-19 Vaccines and Associated Factors Among Adults in Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Researchers from Makerere School of Public Health and MIT GOV/LAB published an article in BMJ Open on Covid-19 in Uganda.
Projects September 2022
These projects expand on evidence-based scholarship to understand bureaucratic behavior in the Global South and promote citizen engagement and government accountability.
Projects May 2020
Data to Inform the Pandemic Response (Covid-19)
How can social science research provide rapid inputs to public health crises? Our team is working with partners to produce data and evidence to inform pandemic responses.
Resources November 2022
Trust Mini Guide
A mini guide on “trust” —why it matters and how we measure it at MIT GOV/LAB, including sample survey questions and measurement tools— for partners and researchers working in governance and international development.
Resources June 2022
MIT GOV/LAB’s Engaged Scholarship Model
Evidence in Governance and Politics features MIT GOV/LAB’s Engaged Scholarship Model as part of their series on academic/practitioner models.
News April 2023
[MIT News] Championing Health Workers to Lead Vaccination Efforts in Uganda
A survey to measure who was getting vaccinated against Covid-19 in Uganda finds health workers had an important role to play.
News December 2022
Measuring How Trust Shapes People’s Attitudes Towards Covid-19 Vaccines
MIT GOV/LAB collaborated with researchers in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and Nigeria on phone surveys to measure factors influencing vaccine uptake and interest.
News August 2021
Introducing Lula Chen, Our New Postdoctoral Associate
Lula and MIT GOV/LAB science writer Will Sullivan discuss her past research, as well her graduate studies and upcoming work at MIT.