Evidence to Policy
Evidence from randomized evaluations is changing how we understand and address problems related to poverty. Policymakers, practitioners, and funders worldwide are increasingly applying this learning to social policies and programs.
Over 400 million people have been reached by programs that were scaled up after being evaluated by J-PAL affiliated researchers. Many more have benefitted from the several broader ways evidence can inform policy, outlined below.
Well-designed randomized evaluations test theories and provide general insights about how programs designed to address poverty work. These insights, when combined with descriptive data and a deep understanding of the local context and institutions, provide useful guides for policy design. Strong partnerships between implementers, researchers, and donors are critical to leveraging evidence to inform policy.
Insights from randomized evaluations have shifted thinking on global issues, such as the impact of microcredit or user fees for preventative health products. Governments and large organizations are creating institutions to embed experimentation into decision-making. Programs shown to be ineffective have been scaled down, freeing up valuable resources. Together with our partners, we are continuously learning about the myriad ways in which research can guide and shape policy.
J-PAL affiliates and staff work closely with partners to apply the learning from randomized evaluations by mapping global evidence to local context, co-designing programs informed by research, and building local capacity to use evidence.