Who Conducts Randomized Evaluations? 

J-PAL was founded in 2003 as a network of affiliated professors  who conduct impact evaluations using the randomized evaluation (RE) methodology to answer questions critical to poverty alleviation.  J-PAL affiliates also conduct non-randomized research, and many other people and organizations conduct REs. For a brief history of RE’s journey from clinical trials to agricultural experiments to social programs and poverty alleviation, click here . For a brief history of J-PAL, click here

Since J-PAL’s founding, more than 200 organizations  have partnered with a J-PAL affiliate on a RE.  Amongst key players in poverty alleviation and development, the idea of REs is now fairly well-known. 

Of the top ten U.S. foundations,1 four of the six that work on international development have partnered with a J-PAL affiliate on a RE.  These include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.2 

Of the top ten multilateral organizations,3 four have partnered with a J-PAL affiliate on a RE (the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Unicef, and the Inter-American Development Bank), and six of the ten have sent staff to J-PAL’s training courses.

Of  “The Big Eight” relief organizations,4 Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, and Oxfam have partnered with a J-PAL affiliate on a RE. The International Rescue Committee is doing REs on its own. And six of the eight have sent staff to J-PAL’s training courses.

Governments also partner with J-PAL affiliates.  Major donor country partners include the United States (USAID, MCC), France (Le Ministre de la Jeunesse et des Solidarités Actives), Sweden, and the United Kingdom (DFID). Developing country government partners have been both at the national level (e.g. Kenya’s Ministry of Education and the Government of Sierra Leone’s Decentralization Secretariat) and the sub-national level (e.g. the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, and the Rajasthan police). 

A number of research centers have been established with the support or under the direction of J-PAL affiliates.  These research centers often run affiliates' REs and employ the staff associated with each RE.  These research centers include: Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Centre for Microfinance, Center for International Development's Micro-Development Initiative, Center of Evaluation for Global Action, Ideas42, and the Small Enterprise Finance Center.

Private companies also conduct randomized evaluations of social programs.  Mathematica Policy Research and Abt Associates  are two examples. 

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1  When measured by endowment.
2  The other two that work on international development but have not partnered with J-PAL are the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  The four that we have judged as having a domestic U.S. focus are the Getty Trust, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Lilly Endowment Inc., and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
3  When measured by official development assistance granted, including The World Bank, the African Development Bank Group, The Global Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Unicef, UNRWA, Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Food Program. 
4  When measured by annual budget.  These are World Vision, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, and Mercy Corps.