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Welcome to my website!

I'm an economist with a strong interest on development economics, particularly on the design, monitoring and evaluation of social programs. My research interest focus on gender, early childhood development, education and intra-household decision making. I have experience managing and quality assuring evaluations of social programs and interacting with donors, implementers and policy makers. I hold a PhD in Economics from Paris School of Economics.  Currently, I work as an economist at the Africa Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank. 

Diana Lopez-Avila (


Research Interests: 

  • Primary:  Development Economics, Impact Evaluation, Gender, Early Childhood Development, Rural Development

  • Secondary: Labor Economics, Child Labor, Intra-household Decision Making, Education


  • Paris School of Economics, Paris, France

    • Ph.D, Economics,  2016.  "Children well being, Women's empowerment and Social Programs". Advisor: Karen Macours

    • Master, Analysis and Policy in Economics, 2011

  • Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

    • M.S, Economics, 2005

    • B.A., Economics, 2003



Child Disciplining, Domestic Violence and Social Programs: Evidence from Colombia, 2019, Journal of Development Effectiveness, 11:1, 15-42, DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2019.1595088. Featured at Development Impact World Bank Blog (Download).

Education and child care. Experience for Colombian mothers and children, 2003, with Rocio Ribero, Desarrollo y Sociedad 56:67-102. Universidad de los Andes, Colombia (In Spanish) (Download)

Working Papers

Jóvenes en Colombia: un análisis descriptivo sobre sus decisiones de estudio y trabajo, Vniversitas Economica, Vol. 20 N. 1, 2020 (Download)


Measuring Women's Empowerment: lessons to better understand domestic violence, PSE Working Papers N 2016-04. (Download)

Child Education and Work Choices in the Presence of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in Rural Colombia (with Orazio Attanasio, Emla Fitzsimons, Ana Gomez, Costas Meghir and Alice Mesnard), IFS Working Papers , W06/01 (Download)

Other publications

and collaborations

Agricultural Innovation, an Evidence Gap Map (with Safiya Husain et. al.) 3ie Evidence Gap Map Report 12, December 2017 (Download)

Oliveiri, S. and Muller, M. Gender Equality in Colombia: Country Gender Assessment, World Bank Group, June 2019 (Download) *I provided inputs as a consultant.


Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia)

  • Assistant Professor, 2019. As part of my applied economics class, students recorded a podcast on a paper estimating a causal relationship, the podcasts can be found at this web page (link)

  • Adjunct Professor, Microeconomics and Applied Economics, 2018

  • Lecturer, Intermediate Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. 2008-2009

Universidad de los Andes (Bogota-Colombia)

  • Adjunct professor, Impact Evaluation, Master in Applied Economics, 2019

  • Professor,  Introduction to Impact Evaluation applied to Social Programs (Continuing Education course), 2018, 2019

  • Teaching Assistant, Basic and Intermediate Microeconomics, 2003-2006

SciencesPo (Paris-France)

Teaching Assistant, Development Economics. Fall 2014

Universidad Autonoma de Manizales (Manizales, Colombia)

Lecturer, Basic and Intermediate Microeconomics. 2006-2007


As part of my research on domestic violence and child discipline, in December 2013 I visited some Hogares Comunitarios in Colombia. Hogares Comunitarios are subsidized child care centers operating since beginning of the 80's and being one of the largest early childhood development services in the region. I interviewed some Madres Comunitarias, as well as some beneficiary mothers trying to understand the way child care centers may help to reduce domestic violence at home.

In April 2013 I did some exploratory interviews to rural women in the departments of Tolima and Cundinamarca. The interviews aimed to approach the topic on domestic violence trying to see how willing were women to talk about this topic, and which could be the situations leading to domestic violence. This work took place within the framework of a  project aiming at analyzing the complementarity between social programs and rural development projects.

From April to July 2012 I participated as the field coordinator of a program on agriculture technology adoption taking place in northern Haiti. The program aimed at increasing farmers’ productivity and revenue by subsidizing farmer’s access to different crop’s packages through vouchers. The program is similar to the PATCA program in Dominican Republic.


Over the summer of 2010 (June - August) I was part of the summer internship program in the Center for Microfinance (CMF-IFMR) in India. I participated as a research assistant in the program:  Integrating the Poorest into Microfinance: An Impact Evaluation in West Bengal. I was in charge of data cleaning of first follow-up survey and supervision on data collection of second follow-up survey.


Recent blogs or press quotes/interviews:


  • Press articles:

    • ​In Spanish:​
      • Las mujeres en el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (in Razon Publica) (link)​

  • 3ie blog:

    • Agricultural innovation: where does the evidence lie? (link)

    • Implementing impact evaluations: trade-offs and compromises (link)

    • What does the evidence say about women’s empowerment and domestic violence? (link)

  • IDB blog (in Spanish):

    • Conoce las cifras de violencia doméstica y empoderamiento de la mujer en América Latina (link)

    • El castigo en la escuela está prohibido, ¿en la casa es aceptado? (link)

  • World Bank Development Impact Blog:

    • Early Childhood Development Programs – Beyond nutrition and cognitive outcomes (link

Video on how to build a theory of change (In Spanish) (December 2017)


Travel blog



If you are interested in traveling, I keep a travel blog "Caminos y Sabores" (In Spanish)

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