Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab logo

20 Years
of Improving Lives
Through Evidence
January 2023

About J-PAL

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of more than 900 researchers at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.

Smiling woman standing in front of a man carrying a bag of rice on his shoulder. Several women and men stand behind them.

Letter from the Global Executive Director

As we enter J-PAL’s third decade, there is no shortage of challenges: Climate change, humanitarian crises, persistent bias and discrimination, and lagging early childhood development are all sobering reminders of how much urgent work there is still to do.

The Year Ahead

Our vision for 2023 builds on a strong foundation to generate more equitable and evidence-based policies for a better world.

Man stands in market purchasing vegetables from a vendor
Two men sitting on together talking; a survey is taking place

Celebrating J-PAL's 20th Anniversary

We opened our doors in 2003 with a mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. In our first decade, we set out to build a robust infrastructure for rigorous research in new contexts. In our second decade, we worked to transform how evidence is applied to policy change and build researcher and implementer capacity—all with the goal of improving lives worldwide.

Innovative Research: Evaluating cutting-edge policies and programs

Investing in rigorous research is essential to finding solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Our growing network of researchers work with local partners across the globe to conduct randomized evaluations to identify the most effective approaches to fight poverty and climate change.

Man in a field examines crop with a tablet in hand
Woman with adolescent girls sit by road selling produce

The King Climate Action Initiative: Solutions at the nexus of poverty and climate change

Climate change disproportionately affects people experiencing poverty and threatens to reverse decades of progress in global poverty alleviation. In partnership with King Philanthropies, our King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI) drives evidence generation for effective and equitable climate action.

Informing Policy and Practice: Translating research into action

We identify policy lessons emerging from randomized evaluations, conduct outreach to share those lessons broadly, and build partnerships to inform high-level decision-making and adoption of evidence at scale.

Woman stands at podium speaking alongside six other speakers, talking to a large audience
Group of six course participants sitting at a table together discussing a topic

Education and Training

As demand for evidence-informed policymaking is growing, so is the need for professionals equipped with the technical skills to advance this work. 

Globally Informed, Locally Grounded

Our local grounding is critical to the success of our work. Based at leading universities on five continents, J-PAL’s seven regional offices anchor our research, policy engagement, and training work around the world.

Illustration of J-PAL offices
Man wearing a mask plants a crop in water next to two other men

Research in Action: Highlights from our affiliated researchers

Researchers in our network worked closely with governments and NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions to issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Our Commitment to DEI

Our work is fundamentally better when it is informed by diverse perspectives. We are taking action to address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of economics and in our field of work and have made strong progress on the goals we set in 2020.

Group photo taken during P+C onboarding week with regional offices

J-PAL Leadership

Our Board of Directors, which is composed of J-PAL affiliated professors and senior management, provides overall strategic guidance to J-PAL, our sector programs, and regional offices. The nine-member Executive Committee (*) of the Board takes decisions on behalf of the full Board on an ongoing basis.

Six rows of headshots in circles ordered alphabetically

Row 1: David Atkin, Abhijit Banerjee*, Marianne Bertrand, Chris Blattman, Emily Breza, Jing Cai, Shawn Cole, Bruno Crépon. 
Row 2: Iqbal Dhaliwal*, Joseph Doyle, Oeindrila Dube, Esther Duflo*, Pascaline Dupas, Alison Fahey, Laura Feeney, Claudio Ferraz*. 
Row 3: Frederico Finan, Amy Finkelstein*, John Floretta, Francisco Gallego, Rachel Glennerster, Michael Greenstone, Marc Gurgand, Rema Hanna*. 
Row 4: Kelsey Jack*, Seema Jayachandran, Anna Kilpatrick, Karen Macours, Lina Marliani, Isaac Mbiti, Craig McIntosh, Shobhini Mukerji. 
Row 5: Karthik Muralidharan, Matthew Notowidigdo, Benjamin A. Olken*, Philip Oreopoulos, Adam Osman, Rohini Pande, William Parienté, Paula Pedro. 
Row 6: Vincent Quan, Anna Schrimpf, Tavneet Suri*, Christopher Udry.



Lead photo credit: Anton Scholtz, J-PAL/Pratham