BlogNews

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

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

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the country’s largest social welfare program have been estimated to be as high as 51 percent (Imbert and Papp 2016, unpublished).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

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

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

Woman helps a girl with her reading

Zambia to scale Teaching at the Right Level program to 1,800 schools

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Emily Cupito and Ben Simuyandi

Building on over a decade of rigorous research around the world and two years of iterative learning in Zambia, the Ministry of General Education will scale up a program called Catch Up to approximately 1,800 schools in Zambia over the next three years. Based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach pioneered by the Indian NGO Pratham, Catch Up aims to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills of primary... Read More

Young man fixes a bicycle

More jobs, less crime

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Hannah Myers

Thousands of disadvantaged young people across the United States are working at camps, daycare centers, and corporate and government offices this summer through summer employment programs. A growing body of evidence, including a number of evaluations by several J-PAL affiliates, shows that these programs can lower violent crime rates among youth. This research has supported a program’s expansion in Chicago and spurred additional evaluations of new questions and in new... Read More

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