BlogNews

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

Policy

Celebrating Chile's inaugural Giving Tuesday with Dean Karlan

Wednesday, January 3, 2018, by Ana Carolina Mendoza

Philanthropy in Chile is at a pivotal moment. A recent study by the Philanthropy and Social Investments Center at the Adolfo Ibáñez University suggests that philanthropists are transitioning away from actions that are purely charitable to actions that are more strategic. Read More

Tackling crime and violence in Latin America with cognitive behavioral therapy

Thursday, December 14, 2017, by Isabel Mejía Fontanot

Developing new strategies to reduce crime and violence is a top priority for Latin American policymakers. Much of the violence in the region affects young men as both victims and perpetrators. Finding proven ways of working with this population to reduce violent and criminal behavior has been a challenge.

One part of an effective prevention strategy may lie in efforts to slow down the thinking and decision-making processes of young... Read More

The potential for evidence-based policymaking in the Middle East and North Africa: Answering frequently asked questions

Monday, December 4, 2017, by Robert Rogers

Most people we meet don’t know that J-PAL has regional offices around the world, based at universities in Chile, France, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and a US office also based at MIT. These offices lead policy outreach and support our affiliated professors’ research projects in those regions. 

Over the last few years we’ve been working to expand J-PAL’s... Read More

Rachel Glennerster on a large stage

When do innovation and evidence change lives?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster

Innovate, test, then scale. The sequence seems obvious—but is in fact a radical departure. Too often the policy making process looks more like “have a hunch, find an anecdote, then claim success.”

Over the last decade and more, though, many individuals and organizations have invested in this new model of development. We’ve learned a lot including about how to improve learning, reduce extreme poverty, combat violence, and improve women’s empowerment.... Read More

Children at school

Cost-effectiveness for informed decision-making

Monday, October 23, 2017, by Samantha Carter

When a funder or policymaker wants to achieve a certain goal—for instance, increasing citizen security—it is not always obvious which strategy will have the largest impact on the intended beneficiaries.

For good policies and programs to be implemented, funders and policymakers need to know the impacts that their different options have on the outcomes they are targeting. (Throughout this blog, we will refer to policymakers, taking this term to include... Read More

Young man fixes a bicycle

More jobs, less crime

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Hannah Myers

Thousands of young people facing barriers to opportunity across the United States are working at camps, daycare centers, and corporate and government offices this summer through summer employment programs. A growing body of evidence, including a number of evaluations by several J-PAL affiliates, shows that these programs can lower violent crime rates among youth. This research has supported a program’s expansion in Chicago and spurred additional evaluations of new questions... Read More

Woman helps a girl with her reading

Zambia to scale Teaching at the Right Level program to 1,800 schools

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Emily Cupito and Ben Simuyandi

Building on over a decade of rigorous research around the world and two years of iterative learning in Zambia, the Ministry of General Education will scale up a program called Catch Up to approximately 1,800 schools in Zambia over the next three years. Based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach pioneered by the Indian NGO Pratham, Catch Up aims to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills of primary... Read More

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