Katherine Vyborny

Katherine Vyborny is the Associate Director of DevLab at Duke University.

She holds a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in economics from the University of Oxford, England, where she held the Rhodes Scholarship.  Kate’s research focuses on public service delivery, urban development and public transportation, and gender.  Kate is a visiting faculty member at the Lahore School of Economics and the Lahore University of Management Sciences.  Kate previously worked on development assistance effectiveness at the Center for Global Development, and on trade and development at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  She holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and International Affairs from the University of Georgia, USA.

Content by Katherine Vyborny
  • Publication - Working Paper

    Persuasion and public health: Evidence from an experiment with religious leaders during COVID-19 in Pakistan

    We use a Randomised Controlled Trial in Pakistan to test whether one-on-one engagement with community religious leaders can encourage them to instruct congregants to comply with public health guidelines when attending religious gatherings. Treated religious leaders are 25% more likely to tell a "mystery shopper" he must wear a mask to attend. Treatment effects are driven...

    3 Jun 2021 | Katherine Vyborny

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Understanding gender barriers in the Pakistani labour market: A deep dive in the job search process

    The emerging reasons behind low female labour force participation rates in developing countries are a lack of access to safe transport, social norms, and the burden of household responsibilities. However, one area which has received less attention is the job search process itself. We use data from a job search platform in Lahore, Pakistan, to discuss the differences...

    13 May 2021 | Vaishali Jain , Lala Rukh Khan, Sarah Xu, Julia Wu, Alieha Shahid, Katherine Vyborny, Erica Field, Robert Garlick, Nivedhitha Subramanian

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Engagement with local religious leaders to combat COVID-19 in Pakistan

    COVID-19 remains a threat for the Pakistani economy and health care system. In this environment, congregational prayers, including obligatory Friday prayers, present significant risks for transmission of the virus if not managed properly. This policy brief measures the impact of one-on-one engagement with local religious leadership on the compliance of public health...

    25 Mar 2021 | Maniha Aftab, Syed Uzair Junaid, Lala Rukh Khan, Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    Barriers faced by women in labour market participation: Evidence from Pakistan

    Data from a job-matching service in Pakistan reveals differences in how men and women search for jobs, and lends insight into the barriers women face in labour market participation. Editor’s note: This article is part of our International Women’s Day campaign and is based on this IGC project. At 22%, Pakistan has one of the lowest female labour force participation...

    23 Mar 2021 | Sarah Xu, Vaishali Jain , Harmalah Khan , Katherine Vyborny

  • Project

    Women's mobility, job search, and employment: Follow-up evidence from a randomised control trial

    Unemployment and economically inactive people are one of the biggest challenges facing urban labour markets in low-income countries. In South Asian cities, this pattern is more pronounced across gender lines with women less likely than men to participate in the labour market, even at relatively high levels of education. This project investigates the constraints on women’s...

    18 Feb 2021 | Katherine Vyborny, Erica Field

  • Project

    State engagement with religious leaders for effective COVID-19 crisis response

    With the outbreak of COVID-19, many Muslim countries throughout the world including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran imposed restrictions on religious gatherings and congregations, including the mandatory Friday prayer. In Pakistan, however, the state was unable to effectively negotiate with the religious leaderships and mosques remained open. In the...

    1 Jun 2020 | Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    Engaging with mosque imams for effective responses to COVID-19

    Authors’ note: The results discussed in this blog are based on a pilot. These findings are preliminary and are being presented for initial consideration and discussion. We will update this blog once information from wider research is available. In order to combat the spread of COVID-19, a large number of Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, and...

    24 Apr 2020 | Katherine Vyborny, Syed Uzair Junaid, Lala Rukh Khan

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Infrastructure investments and public transport use: Evidence from Lahore, Pakistan

    15 Jun 2018 | Hadia Majid, Ammar A Malik, Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    Overcoming barriers to women’s mobility in Pakistan

    Expanding transport networks, scheduling services, providing reliable transport in peri-urban areas, improving the design of women’s-only services, educating drivers and conductors on sexual harassment, and improving public safety improve mobility. Social norms against women coming into close contact with unrelated men, and the discomfort, social stigma, and fear of...

    17 Nov 2017 | Fizzah Sajjad, Katherine Vyborny, Ghulam Abbas Anjum, Erica Field

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Gender equity in transport planning: Improving women’s access to public transport in Pakistan

    Women in Pakistan are more dependent on public transport due to various social norms. However, they also face significant challenges while using public transport because of concerns over safety, harassment and worries about their social reputation. A lack of transport options for women restricts their lives substantially and affects whether they work, what kind of...

    18 Oct 2017 | Fizzah Sajjad, Ghulam Abbas Anjum, Erica Field, Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    Six insights for engaging community activists in rural development

    You can’t overstate the importance of local organisations in providing services for their communities. Pakistan’s flash flood of 2012 washed away the water supply scheme and 1.5 kilometres of a road in the remote village of Kiyar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karimabad valley. After a week, the local community restored these services itself. In the hilly areas of northern...

    9 Aug 2017 | Hamna Ahmed, Asha Gul, Saheem Khizar, Simon Quinn, Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    How well represented are women in Pakistan's rural volunteer organisations?

    Since the 1980s, Pakistan has followed a unique model of social mobilization that has contributed greatly towards rural development and poverty alleviation. This model of social mobilization and community participation involves setting up local community organizations at the neighborhood, village and union council (UC) levels. These organizations comprise local volunteer...

    9 May 2017 | Hamna Ahmed, Asha Gul, Saheem Khizar, Simon Quinn, Katherine Vyborny

  • Project

    Outsourcing state capacity: A field experiment in Pakistan

    Effective state institutions are known to be important for growth. At the same time, a large proportion of donor assistance and public service spending is now channelled through non- government organisations (NGOs). This raises issues of how these institutions interact with the traditional institutions of the state: do they complement the development of effective state...

    25 Feb 2016 | Naved Hamid, Simon Quinn, Katherine Vyborny, Hamna Ahmed, Asha Gul

  • Project

    Public transport and urban labour market integration: A randomised control trial

    A well-integrated citywide public transport network contributes to economic growth by reducing transport costs and travel time, facilitating specialisation of firms and workers, and decreasing the cost of economic transactions.  Yet, despite increasing urbanisation, most of Pakistan’s cities suffer from a poorly connected public transport network. In Lahore,...

    4 Sep 2015 | Erica Field, Katherine Vyborny

  • Project

    Urban transportation, labour markets, and access to economic opportunity: Evidence from Lahore’s Bus Rapid Transit System

    The Lahore Bus Rapid Transit System (conventionally, Lahore Metrobus) has dramatically altered the public transport landscape of Lahore, providing subsidised urban mobility to over 140,000 people along Ferozpur Road of Lahore each day. The purpose of this project is to analyze the impact of the Lahore Metrobus project on employment and human capital investment. By...

    11 Dec 2014 | Anjum Altaf, Katherine Vyborny, Ammar A Malik, Hadia Majid