Spotlight: Emily Rains (Associate)


During your time at IDinsight, where have you been based and what kind of projects have you worked on?

I have been based in Patna, India for almost two years now, but I also had the opportunity to spend a month in Zambia helping on a health-focused RCT. In Patna, I’ve focused mainly on rural electrification. I worked on a very exciting project helping to set up and run a technical evaluation cell housed in Bihar’s energy department.

What do you feel you have gained from working at IDinsight?

One reason I chose to work at IDinsight is that we focus on conducting rapid impact evaluations, and I wanted to be able to work on a project from start to finish. I really enjoyed being able to experience all stages of a project and especially learned from working on the project design stage. The most rewarding part of my job may be all of the people and places I have had a chance to meet and visit.

How would you describe a typical week at IDinsight?

I’m not sure if there’s a typical week! One week might involve meeting electrical engineers in remote areas and the next might involve preparing a presentation for policymakers.

How would you describe the culture at IDinsight?

Hard-working, smart, and funny. I like that as an organization we think critically about the work we do and attempt to assess our own social impact.  But I also like that my colleagues double as great travel companions.

What’s your favorite book that you’ve read this year?

Half of a Yellow Sun. Anything and everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

What do you plan to do next after your time at IDinsight?

I’m very excited to start a Ph.D. at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy this fall. At IDinsight, I’ve had the opportunity to see some interventions work and (just as importantly) some not work, which has played an important role in shaping how I plan to approach development research in the future.