Ms. Laura Munro
Specialization: Public Health
Home institution in US: At-Large, Overseas
Host Institution in India: Institute for Financial Management and Research, Ahmedabad, Gujarat  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Laura Munro is a Ph.D. candidate at the London School of Economics, U.K. Her doctoral research focuses on risk-sharing mechanisms, behavioral biases and farmer decision-making in rural India. Prior to her doctoral studies, she completed a dual M.A./M.P.A. in international affairs at Columbia University, New York and public administration at the London School of Economics. She has also conducted research for a diverse range of international organizations, such as the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC). Her research has been published in The World Economy journal and a number of World Bank and OECD publications and working papers.

Ms. Munro’s Fulbright research project, “The role of community monitoring in improving the quality of health services provision,” will study three research questions through a mixed methods analysis in rural Gujarat: As smallholder farmers struggle to cope with agricultural yield risk, why is the take-up of weather insurance so low? If behavioral biases play a role, can products be designed to overcome these biases? And if farmers take on weather insurance products, how does this affect their productivity-related decisions? Through these means, Ms. Munro hopes to contribute to the academic debates on risk-sharing mechanisms, behavioral biases and smallholder farmer decision-making, as well as to provide policy insights about the role of weather insurance in rural development.