BlogNews

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

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

Woman in sari in front of a roadside fruit stand

Building the evidence base to support smallholder farmers

Monday, October 16, 2017, by Kyle Murphy

Increasing migration has placed unprecedented demands on local food systems. Coupled with climate change, which continues to alter rain patterns and agricultural production, these global challenges are expected to exacerbate food insecurity in the coming century. This year’s World Food Day recognizes the importance of addressing food security and rural development in the context of migration and displacement.

Building the resilience and production capacity of smallholder farmers is... Read More

Girls in uniform sit in classroom

International Day of the Girl Child: How do we close the gender gap in school participation?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017, by Lucia Diaz-Martin

International Day of the Girl Child aims to, in the words of the United Nations, "address the needs and challenges girls face worldwide, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights." As Goal 4 of the SDGs notes, education is one of the most basic human rights—and yet girls in low-income countries are less likely to be enrolled in school than their male peers, and... Read More

Is it time to rethink how we measure women’s household decision-making power in impact evaluations?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster and Claire Walsh

One of the first rules of thumb you learn about developing survey questions is that they should be specific and time-bound. In other words, it’s better if a question is about a specific event or behavior rather than a vague idea so respondents are less likely to interpret it in different ways, and it should include a clear timeframe so that their responses are comparable. Read More

Students collaborate on laptop

Exploring the promise of education technology

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, by Vincent Quan

Around the world, there is widespread and growing interest in the use of technology in education. A recent industry projection estimated the global education technology—or “edtech”—industry to be valued at $252 billion by 2020. However, the rapid growth in use of edtech has outpaced rigorous research on its effectiveness. It’s important to step back and understand how different technologies affect student learning in order to ensure education technology serves to... Read More

Woman holds a person's hand to a fingerprint machine

Smartcards for smarter payments: Improving state capacity in Andhra Pradesh

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, by Vishnu Padmanabhan

Across the world, developing country governments spend millions on anti-poverty programs and subsidies, yet this money often does not reach the poor. Funds can be diverted by corrupt officials, and funds that are not lost may reach the wrong recipients. For instance, in India, leakages from the country’s largest social welfare program have been estimated to be as high as 51 percent (Imbert and Papp 2016, unpublished).

An increasingly popular... Read More

Classroom full of children raising their hand

Who benefits most from school access policies? A gender breakdown of results from randomized evaluations

Thursday, August 10, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster

The majority of out of school children are girls, and much of the rhetoric about improving access to education focuses on girls. Yet many of the policies designed to improve primary school access (particularly those evaluated with randomized evaluations) do not specifically target girls. In J-PAL’s recent review of education RCTs, Roll Call, we therefore ask: Which gender benefits most from these school access policies?

We were surprised to... Read More

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