J-PAL Africa

J-PAL Africa, based at the University of Cape Town, leads J-PAL’s work in sub-Saharan Africa. J-PAL Africa conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs.

Our research team evaluates the impact of social programs and policies in South Africa, covering a wide range of sectors including labor markets, urban services, and political participation. Our policy team works with organizations and governments across Africa to build, pilot, and scale cost-effective interventions, including the Teaching at the Right Level approach to primary education. Our training team builds researcher capacity to conduct randomized evaluations and policymaker capacity to use evidence from randomized evaluations effectively. 

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A woman uses a mobile phone to make a cash transfer in front of a fruit stand.
Blog

Building a robust evidence-based research community: Strengthening pathways for African researchers

Researchers from many groups, including women, people of color, and people from low- and middle-income countries, are underrepresented in the field of economics and face numerous barriers to their growth. We hold the conviction that research grounded in knowledge of the geographic and cultural...

Children in a classroom
Blog

Evaluating and scaling job search tools with the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

Read how J-PAL Africa and the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator have partnered over the last three years to design, test, and scale job search tools to address South Africa's youth unemployment problem.

High school girls in Accra, Ghana posing for the camera in their graduation uniforms.
Blog

Investing in girls' education? Top 3 lessons from the evidence

How can governments, donors and implementing partners decide on where to invest to improve girls’ enrollment? Global evidence on effective interventions can be a great place to start. J-PAL Africa highlight three key lessons everyone should keep in mind on keeping girls in school.

A man and woman use their phones for a mobile money transfer
Blog

The rise of mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa: Has this digital technology lived up to its promises?

Mobile money has been touted as a revolutionary tool for expanding access to financial services in low resource environments. But does this technology live up to its promises? What are the impacts on the households who use mobile money?