BlogNews

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

Team meeting

Applying lessons from the MicroMasters—together—in Botswana

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, by Hannah Blair and Efua Bortsie

This is a guest post from Hannah Blair and Efua Bortsie at Young 1ove, a youth-focused NGO that scales evidence-based programming in health and education in Botswana.

Young 1ove was born out of evidence.

Our first program, “No Sugar,” was inspired by a 1-hour class that a randomized trial by a J-PAL affiliate showed could significantly reduce teenage pregnancy—also a proxy for unprotected... Read More

Low-income Americans are missing out on the public benefits they're eligible for. Simple interventions can help.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018, by Matthew Notowidigdo

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—often referred to as food stamps—is one of the largest social safety net programs in the United States. But every year thousands of households eligible for SNAP benefits do not enroll, missing out on food assistance that could be critical. Enrollment among adults over the age of 60 is particularly low; in 2012, nearly half of older adults who qualified to receive SNAP benefits did... Read More

Lottery to select audit municipalities

We need evidence-based public policies in Brazil

Monday, July 16, 2018, by Claudio Ferraz

This post was first published as an op-ed in Nexo Jornal and has been translated from the original Portuguese.

The main challenge when it comes to public policy is knowing what works and why. Brazilian policy debate too often is built on belief-based arguments and ideology and relies little on data or rigorous evidence.

The adoption of policies based on empirical evidence is growing worldwide. Unfortunately, Brazil still... Read More

A woman harvesting peas

Launching a practical guide to measuring women's and girls’ empowerment

Tuesday, July 10, 2018, by Lucia Diaz-Martin, Rachel Glennerster, and Claire Walsh

As part of the formative research that my research team and I (Rachel) conducted for a randomized evaluation on adolescent girls’ empowerment in Bangladesh, we interviewed young women about their daily lives, aspirations, and what they wanted to do that they were prohibited from doing. We also interviewed local NGOs and community partners, asking: “What does an empowered girl do differently than a girl who is not... Read More

Affiliate spotlight: Adam Osman on expanding opportunities for evaluation in the MENA region

Monday, July 9, 2018, by Hanna Juergens and Adam Osman

Adam Osman is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-Scientific Director of J-PAL’s Middle East and North Africa initiative. He has been a J-PAL affiliate since 2016.

How did you become interested in development economics?

I actually didn't know much about the field until after I got into graduate school. My exposure to it beforehand had been minimal and mostly from the older economic growth literature. For as long as I could remember I always had an interest in understanding why the poor were poor and what could be done to help them, but I thought this was one of those things people thought about but didn't actually study. Read More

Cultivating partnerships between health care practitioners and researchers

Thursday, June 28, 2018, by Spencer Crawford

“Trust and communication lay the foundation for a good working relationship,” shared Aaron Truchil of Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers (CCHP) with over 40 audience members, including academics and innovators in health care delivery.

Truchil’s keynote address—referencing his organization’s partnership with J-PAL affiliated researchers to evaluate CCHP’s care management program—kicked off this year’s Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI) workshop.

The workshop brought together researchers and... Read More

How do we know if education technology even works?

Monday, June 25, 2018, by Thomas Kane, Britt Neuhaus, and Philip Oreopoulos

This post first appeared as commentary in Education Week.

In April, the newest National Assessment of Educational Progress scores once again showed minimal progress in U.S. math and reading achievement and a widening achievement gap between our highest and lowest performers. Against this backdrop, educators today are eager for solutions that have long seemed elusive to age-old challenges in education.

Education technology will be part of... Read More

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