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Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

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White Papers

Combating Information Manipulation: A Playbook for Elections and Beyond

Daniel Arnaudo, Samantha Bradshaw, Hui Hui Ooi, Kaleigh Schwalbe, Vera Zakem, Amanda Zink
2021
A new playbook from the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) aims to help identify, respond to, and build long-term resilience to election-related information manipulation, attacks on information integrity and threats to delegitimize elections globally.
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Journal Articles

Content-Oblivious Trust and Safety Techniques: Results from a Survey of Online Service Providers

Riana Pfefferkorn
SSRN , 2021
A new publication from Riana Pfefferkorn of the Stanford Internet Observatory
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Journal Articles

Passive Versus Active Service Delivery: Comparing the Effects of Two Parenting Interventions on Early Cognitive Development in Rural China

Sean Sylvia, Renfu Luo, Jingdong Zhong, Sarah-Eve Dill, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle
World Development , 2021
We present the results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial that evaluates the effects of a free, center-based parenting intervention on early cognitive development and parenting practices in 100 rural villages in China. We then compare these effects to a previous trial of a home-based intervention conducted in the same region, using the same parenting curriculum and public service system, accounting for potential differences between the studies. We find that the center-based intervention did not have a significant impact on child development outcomes, but did lead to increases in the material investments, time investments, and parenting skills of caregivers. The average impact of the center-based intervention on child skills and investments in children was significantly smaller than the home-visiting intervention. Analysis of the possible mechanisms suggests that the difference in effects was driven primarily by different patterns of selection into program participation.
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Journal Articles

Data Collection: Lessons of Cost-Benefit Analysis, Skepticism, and Legal Transparency

James X. Dempsey
JNSLP , 2021
An article in the Journal of National Security Law and Policy (JNSLP) from James X. Dempsey of the Program on Geopolitics, Technology and Governance.
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Journal Articles

Two shifts for crop mapping: Leveraging aggregate crop statistics to improve satellite-based maps in new regions

David Lobell
Remote Sensing of Environment , 2021
Crop type mapping at the field level is critical for a variety of applications in agricultural monitoring, and satellite imagery is becoming an increasingly abundant and useful raw input from which to create crop type maps. Still, in many regions crop type mapping with satellite data remains constrained by a scarcity of field-level crop labels for training supervised classification models. When training data is not available in one region, classifiers trained in similar regions can be transferred, but shifts in the distribution of crop types as well as transformations of the features between regions lead to reduced classification accuracy. We present a methodology that uses aggregate-level crop statistics to correct the classifier by accounting for these two types of shifts. To adjust for shifts in the crop type composition we present a scheme for properly reweighting the posterior probabilities of each class that are output by the classifier. To adjust for shifts in features we propose a method to estimate and remove linear shifts in the mean feature vector. We demonstrate that this methodology leads to substantial improvements in overall classification accuracy when using Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to map crop types in Occitanie, France and in Western Province, Kenya. When using LDA as our base classifier, we found that in France our methodology led to percent reductions in misclassifications ranging from 2.8% to 42.2% (mean = 21.9%) over eleven different training departments, and in Kenya the percent reductions in misclassification were 6.6%, 28.4%, and 42.7% for three training regions. While our methodology was statistically motivated by the LDA classifier, it can be applied to any type of classifier. As an example, we demonstrate its successful application to improve a Random Forest classifier.
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Journal Articles

Almost Parity: Understanding the India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Arzan Tarapore
2021
A chapter in the edited volume 'Routledge Handbook on South Asian Foreign Policy'
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Journal Articles

Middle East Influence Operations: Observations Across Social Media Takedowns

Renee DiResta, Shelby Grossman, Josh A. Goldstein
Middle East Political Science , 2021
Researchers Shelby Grossman, Renee DiResta and Josh A. Goldstein examine Middle East influence operations across social media, including how regimes incorporated social media activities into their own domestic and foreign policy toolkits. The full paper can be found at the Project on Middle East Political Science website.
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Journal Articles

Early Childhood Development and Parental Training Interventions in Rural China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Dorien Emmers, Qi Jiang, Hao Xue, Yue Zhang, Yunting Zhang, Yingxue Zhao, Bin Liu, Sarah-Eve Dill, Yiwei Qian, Nele Warrinnier, Hannah Johnstone, Jianhua Cai, Xiaoli Wang, Lei Wang, Renfu Luo, Guirong Li, Jiajia Xu, Ming Liu, Yaqing Huang, Wenjie Shan, Zhihui Li, Yu Zhang, Sean Sylvia, Yue Ma, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle
BMJ Global Health , 2021
Introduction: Inadequate care during early childhood can lead to long-term deficits in skills. Parenting programmes that encourage investment in young children are a promising tool for improving early development outcomes and long-term opportunities in low-income and middle-income regions, such as rural China. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis to investigate the prevalence of early developmental delays and stimulating parenting practices as well as the effect of parental training programmes on child development outcomes in rural China. We obtained data in English from EconPapers, PubMed, PsycARTICLES, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Scopus (Elsevier) and in Chinese from China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Data and VIP Information. We conducted frequentist meta-analyses of aggregate data and estimated random-effects meta-regressions. Certainty of evidence was rated according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. Results: We identified 19 observational studies on the prevalence of developmental delays and stimulating parenting practices for children under 5 years of age (n=19 762) and ten studies on the impact of parental training programmes on early child development (n=13 766). Children’s risk of cognitive, language and social-emotional delays in the rural study sites (covering 14 provinces mostly in Central and Western China) was 45%, 46%, and 36%, respectively. Parental training programmes had a positive impact on child cognition, language and social-emotional development. Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that early developmental delay and the absence of stimulating parenting practices (ie, reading, storytelling and singing with children) may be prevalent across rural, low-income and middle-income regions in Central and Western China. Results support the effectiveness of parental training programmes to improve early development by encouraging parental engagement.
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Working Papers

On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models

2021
A new publication from the Center for Research on Foundation Models (CRFM) at Stanford University, with contributions by Shelby Grossman and others from the Stanford Internet Observatory
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Journal Articles

Consultation Length, Process Quality and Diagnosis Quality of Primary Care in Rural China: A Cross-Sectional Standardized Patient Study

Qingzhi Wang, Sasmita Adhikari, Yuju Wu, Thankam Sunil, Yuping Mao, Ruixue Ye, Chang Sun, Yaojiang Shi, Chengchao Zhou, Sean Sylvia, Scott Rozelle, Huan Zhou
Patient Education and Counseling , 2021
Objective: Consultation length, the time spent between patient and health care provider during a visit, is an essential element in measuring quality of health care patients receive from a primary care facility. However, the linkage between consultation length and process quality and diagnosis quality of primary care is still uncertain. This study aims to examine the role consultation length plays in delivering process quality and diagnosis quality, two central components of overall primary care quality, in rural China. Methods: We recruited unannounced standardized patients (SPs) to present classic symptoms of angina and tuberculosis in selected healthcare facilities in three provinces of China. The consultation length and primary care quality of SPs were measured and compared with both international and national standards of care. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions for process quality (continuous dependent variable) and Logistic regressions for diagnosis quality (binary dependent variable) were performed to investigate the relationship between consultation length and primary care quality. Results: The average consultation lengths among patients with classic symptoms of angina and those with symptoms of tuberculosis were approximately 4.33 min and 6.28 min, respectively. Providers who spent more time with patients were significantly more likely to complete higher percentage of recommended checklist items of both questions and examinations for angina (β = 1.39, 95%CI 1.01–1.78) and tuberculosis (β = 0.89, 95%CI 0.69–1.08). Further, providers who spent more time with patients were more likely to make correct diagnosis for angina (marginal effect = 0.014, 95%CI 0.002–0.026) and for tuberculosis (marginal effect = 0.013, 95%CI 0.005–0.021). Conclusions: The average consultation length is extremely short among primary care providers in rural China. The longer consultation leads to both better process and diagnosis quality of primary care. Practice Implications: We recommend primary care providers to increase the length of their communication with patients. To do so, government should implement healthcare reforms to clarify the requirements of affordable and reliable consultation length in medical care services. Moreover, such an experience can also be extended to other developing countries.
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Conference Memos

POMEPS Studies 43: Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East

Larry Diamond, Eileen Donahoe, Shelby Grossman, Renée DiResta, Josh A. Goldstein
2021
The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism. This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.
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Journal Articles

Democracies Linked To Greater Universal Health Coverage Compared With Autocracies, Even In An Economic Recession

Tara Templin, Joseph L. Dieleman , Simon Wigley, John Everett Mumford, Molly Miller-Petrie, Samantha Kiernan, Thomas J. Bollyky
Health Affairs , 2021
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Journal Articles

Indian Ocean Strategic Futures

Arzan Tarapore, David Brewster
Asia Policy , 2021
Re-examining assumptions of capability and intent
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Journal Articles

Healthcare Utilization at Retirement in China

Qin Zhou, Karen Eggleston, Gordon G. Liu
Health Economics , 2021
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Journal Articles

COVID-19 in the California State Prison System: an Observational Study of Decarceration, Ongoing Risks, and Risk Factors

Elizabeth T. Chin, Tess Ryckman, Lea Prince, David Leidner, Fernando Alarid-Escudero, Jason R. Andrews, Joshua Salomon, David Studdert, Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert
Journal of General Internal Medicine , 2021
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Commentary

Legal Look at Proof of Vaccination & Ongoing Fight Against COVID-19

David Studdert, Michelle Mello
2021
Stanford health law experts Michelle Mello and David Studdert discuss the ongoing pandemic, proof of vaccination “passports” at the state and federal levels, and a July 19 ruling that Indiana University could require that its students be vaccinated.
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Books

In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism

James P. Daughton
2021
The epic story of the Congo-Océan railroad and the human costs and contradictions of modern empire.
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Commentary

Opinion: Global spyware such as Pegasus is a threat to democracy. Here’s how to stop it.

Marietje Schaake
2021
Opinion piece in the Washington Post, by David Kaye and Marietje Schaake
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Journal Articles

Cleaner air has contributed one-fifth of US maize and soybean yield gains since 1999

David Lobell, Jennifer Burney
Environmental Research Letters , 2021
Crop productivity is potentially affected by several air pollutants, although these are usually studied in isolation. A significant challenge to understanding the effects of multiple pollutants in many regions is the dearth of air quality data near agricultural fields. Here we empirically estimate the effect of four key pollutants (ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) on maize and soybean yields in the United States using a combination of administrative data and satellite-derived yield estimates. We identify clear negative effects of exposure to O3, PM, and SO2 in both crops, using yields measured in the vicinity of monitoring stations. We also show that while stations measuring NO2 are too sparse to reliably estimate a yield effect, the strong gradient of NO2 concentrations near power plants allows us to more precisely estimate NO2 effects using satellite measured yield gradients. The presence of some powerplants that turn on and others that shut down during the study period are particularly useful for attributing yield gradients to pollution. We estimate that total yield losses from these pollutants averaged roughly 5% for both maize and soybean over the past two decades. While all four pollutants have statistically significant effects, PM and NO2 appear more damaging to crops at current levels than O3 and SO2. Finally, we find that the significant improvement in air quality since 1999 has halved the impact of poor air quality on major crops and contributed to yield increases that represent roughly 20% of overall yield gains over that period.
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Journal Articles

COVID-19 Related Immunization Disruptions in Rajasthan, India

Radhika Jain, Ambika Chopra, Camille Falézan, Mustufa Patel, Pascaline Dupas
Vaccine , 2021
A retrospective observational study
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Working Papers

Compliance with Price Transparency by California Hospitals

Bianca Mulaney, Shreya A. Shah, Christine Kim, Shreya A. Shah, Christine Kim, Laurence C. Baker
2021
An examination of how California hospitals are adhering to the federal policy on price transparency.
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