What does it take to launch and implement a randomized evaluation?

Marking off boxes on a checklist

Randomized evaluations can be challenging to launch and implement in practice. Before designing a randomized evaluation, it is important to understand the administrative steps needed to get a project off the ground. In the US, there is a complex web of rules and regulations for research. Decisions made in the early stages of an evaluation may have lasting implications on issues like data access and use, and the ability to publish research results. J-PAL North America developed a checklist, Administrative Steps for Launching a Randomized Evaluation in the United States, to lead researchers through the key tasks they must tackle to launch a successful evaluation.

J-PAL North America also created a guide to Real-World Challenges to Randomization and Their Solutions to help researchers and implementing partners develop evaluation designs that fit their program’s context. Using real examples from ongoing and completed randomized evaluations, this guide describes multiple research designs that accommodate existing programs, mitigate foreseeable implementation challenges, and demonstrate the flexibility of randomized evaluations across contexts.

With these resources, J-PAL North America aims to make it easier for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to design randomized evaluations and produce rigorous evidence to inform their priority policy questions in the fight against poverty. For more information, please contact J-PAL North America Research and Policy Manager Rohit Naimpally at rnaimpally@povertyactionlab.org.

Posted by Rohit Naimpally, Senior Research and Policy Manager, J-PAL North America