Past Research Projects

The Buffett Institute sponsored the following research projects.

Balancing Markets and Hierarchies to Enhance Efficiency and Quality in Social Services in Latin America

  • Sponsors: Buffett Institute (2006–08), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2008–10)
  • At a glance: Policymakers and academics agree that deficiencies in Latin American social services like health and education derive from low quality and inefficient delivery, as opposed to inadequate funding. Some reformers advocate the introduction of market and quasi-market competition as a tool for developing greater quality and efficiency. However, the provision of social services is even more complicated than traditional markets, because those who pay for services are not their consumers. Read more.

Colonialism and its Legacies: A Comprehensive Historical Dataset

  • Sponsors: Funded by the National Science Foundation, sponsored by the Buffett Institute
  • At a glance: Persistent methodological problems associated with dominant research strategies contribute to the lack of clear conclusions on colonialism's legacy. Despite its ubiquity in the contemporary fields of anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology, the subject of colonialism is rarely studied in a detailed and systematic manner. Learn more about this project.

Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Norms and Local Practices

  • Sponsors: University of California-Berkeley and the Buffett Institute for Global Studies
  • At a glance: Politics of Religious Freedom studied how religious freedom is being transformed through legal and political contestations in the United States, the Middle East, South Asia, and the European Union. Read more.

Research Alliance to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH)

  • Sponsors: The Buffett Institute, Northwestern University's Program of African Studies, and the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • At a glance: This information-gathering project identified the factors driving HIV transmission in specific Nigerian communities. It produced recommendations for more effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategies while building the capacity of Nigerian AIDS researchers. Visit the REACH project.

Student Conceptions of International Experience Study (SCIE)

  • Sponsors: The Buffett Institute and Northwestern's Searle Center for Teaching Excellence
  • At a glance: This information-gathering project documented students' experiences while participating in study abroad and other international learning experiences. This data informs faculty and administrators at institution as they set international learning policies and programming. More on the SCIE project.