Erik Wibbels is the Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Political Science, the founder of DevLab@Penn and member of Penn’s Development Research Initiative. His research focuses on development, redistribution and political geography and has been published by Cambridge University Press and top journals. Current major projects include research on the human impact of US deportations of Central Americans; the Machine Learning for Peace project, a big data approach to measuring and forecasting dynamics in civil society at high frequency; two impact evaluations on local governance projects in Cambodia; and an initiative with the World Bank to understand the impact of refugees on communities around the world.
In his role with DevLab@Penn, Wibbels also works with governments, international donors, and local partners to improve the design and evaluation of development programming and engage in policy-relevant research around the world. He regularly organizes and participates in conferences and workshops that bring together policy experts, academics and civil society through the INSPIRES network, and he recently co-edited Decentralized Governance and Accountability: Academic Research and the Future of Donor Programming with Cambridge University Press.
As a part of its educational mission, DevLab@Duke and PDRI work with Post-Doctoral Fellows, graduate and undergraduate students through a combination of applied research, internships and courses. Wibbels is currently working with students on projects in Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nepal, Serbia, Tanzania, Uganda, and several countries in Central Asia.