BlogNews

News, ideas, and analysis from J-PAL staff and affiliated professors. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly email updates.

Policy

Increasing the use of data and evidence in real-world policy: Stories from J-PAL’s Government Partnership Initiative

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, by Samantha Carter and Claire Walsh

At J-PAL, we often talk about the importance of using evidence to design and implement effective policies and programs, and many governments are working to make it a priority. But what does this look like in practice? How can we best support governments in finding and applying the evidence they need to make informed decisions?

We manage the Government Partnership Initiative (GPI), a J-PAL fund that supports... Read More

Meet our new executive director

Thursday, January 11, 2018, by Eliza Keller

Iqbal Dhaliwal is the new executive director of J-PAL, succeeding Rachel Glennerster, who has joined DFID as its chief economist. Earlier Iqbal was deputy executive director, and prior to that, founding director of J-PAL's policy group. Before joining the organization in 2009 he was a director in an economics consulting firm and an official in India’s senior civil service, where he worked on policy formulation and program implementation. ... Read More

Celebrating Chile's inaugural Giving Tuesday with Dean Karlan

Wednesday, January 3, 2018, by Ana Carolina Mendoza

Philanthropy in Chile is at a pivotal moment. A recent study by the Philanthropy and Social Investments Center at the Adolfo Ibáñez University suggests that philanthropists are transitioning away from actions that are purely charitable to actions that are more strategic.

The study sheds light on how philanthropists in Chile select their beneficiaries, showing that donors value organizational impact over philosophy or reputation. Nevertheless, as for donors everywhere,... Read More

Tackling crime and violence in Latin America with cognitive behavioral therapy

Thursday, December 14, 2017, by Isabel Mejía Fontanot

Developing new strategies to reduce crime and violence is a top priority for Latin American policymakers. Much of the violence in the region affects young men as both victims and perpetrators. Finding proven ways of working with this population to reduce violent and criminal behavior has been a challenge.

One part of an effective prevention strategy may lie in efforts to slow down the thinking and decision-making processes of young... Read More

The potential for evidence-based policymaking in the Middle East and North Africa: Answering frequently asked questions

Monday, December 4, 2017, by Robert Rogers

Most people we meet don’t know that J-PAL has regional offices around the world, based at universities in Chile, France, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and a US office also based at MIT. These offices lead policy outreach and support our affiliated professors’ research projects in those regions. 

Over the last few years we’ve been working to expand J-PAL’s... Read More

Rachel Glennerster on a large stage

When do innovation and evidence change lives?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster

Innovate, test, then scale. The sequence seems obvious—but is in fact a radical departure. Too often the policy making process looks more like “have a hunch, find an anecdote, then claim success.”

Over the last decade and more, though, many individuals and organizations have invested in this new model of development. We’ve learned a lot including about how to improve learning, reduce extreme poverty, combat violence, and improve women’s empowerment.... Read More

Children at school

Cost-effectiveness for informed decision-making

Monday, October 23, 2017, by Samantha Carter

When a funder or policymaker wants to achieve a certain goal—for instance, increasing citizen security—it is not always obvious which strategy will have the largest impact on the intended beneficiaries.

For good policies and programs to be implemented, funders and policymakers need to know the impacts that their different options have on the outcomes they are targeting. (Throughout this blog, we will refer to policymakers, taking this term to include... Read More

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