BlogNews

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

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

Adolescent females in India participate in an empowerment group

Evidence-informed approaches to reducing pregnancy among adolescents

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, by Rebecca Toole

In 2018, 21 million girls and young women aged 15 to 19 in developing regions are expected to become pregnant. The decisions that lead to pregnancy in adolescence are complex and do not occur in a vacuum: the broader sociocultural context, including social norms, individual beliefs and preferences, intrahousehold dynamics, and economic factors, such as income, shape an adolescent female’s decisions around marriage, sexual activity, and use of... Read More

Why enroll in the MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy?

Friday, June 8, 2018, by Norman Simon Rodriguez

This is a guest post authored by Norman Simon Rodriguez, a MicroMasters learner in Colombia.

I am a 26-year-old Colombian political scientist with a master’s degree in Economics. I first became interested in development in 2012 when, as part of my work as an advisor in the Colombian Senate, I came across the Spanish translation of Poor Economics

The book was a revelation for me. It made me... Read More

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