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


Group of J-PAL staff and Punjab government officials pose for MoU signing

J-PAL South Asia launches partnership with Government of Punjab, India

Friday, June 2, 2017, by Sharanya Chandran

In April 2017, the State Government of Punjab, India represented by its Chief Secretary, Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with J-PAL South Asia at IFMR, represented by its Executive Director, Ms Shobhini Mukerji. The partnership aims to support the Punjab Government in taking an evidence-informed approach to its poverty alleviation efforts.

The MoU signing meeting was chaired by Punjab’s Finance Minister, Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal... Read More

Woman holds baby

A practical framework for evidence-informed policy: Addressing the generalizability puzzle

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster

In recent decades, there has been a huge increase in the number of impact evaluations of different approaches to reducing poverty. Despite this, if you are a policymaker, it is unlikely that there will be a rigorous impact evaluation that answers precisely the question you are facing in precisely the location in which you are facing it. So how do you draw on the available evidence, both from your local... Read More

Reaping greater impacts in agricultural extension

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, by J-PAL

Technologies like improved seeds and fertilizer have the potential to help farmers significantly increase their yields and therefore increase their profits. In some cases, adoption of agricultural technology has been an important factor in countries' transitions out of poverty.

A farmer’s decision to adopt a new technology, however, requires several types of information. The farmer must know that the technology exists, they must believe that the technology is beneficial, and... Read More

Fishing boats and workers on a dock in Chile

Engaging consumers to promote sustainable fishing in Chile

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, by Anna Schickele

Chile, with one of the world’s largest fishing industries, faces a problem of extreme overfishing: 72 percent of species fished off the coast of Chile are over-exploited or at risk of extinction. The National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca in Spanish), which is responsible for protecting marine resources, has generally relied on enforcement mechanisms—patrols in ports, on highways, and in markets—to sanction illegal fishing. However, during a J-PAL LAC incubator course in... Read More

Hands shaking in front of government building

Partnering with J-PAL North America: A Practitioner Perspective

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, by Todd Hall

Benefits Data Trust (BDT), a nonprofit partner, is collaborating with J-PAL North America to identify effective outreach strategies to enroll low-income households into benefits. We asked Rachel Cahill, Director of Policy at BDT, a few questions about her experience partnering with J-PAL North America to design an evaluation that will answer important questions about BDT’s work. Read More

President Barack Obama meets with staff of the Social Behavioral Sciences team

White House releases report on applying behavioral science to government policy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016, by Mary Ann Bates

The White House’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team released its second report last month, and it’s worth a close read. The SBST was launched just over two years ago, and has been working to make government more effective. This might seem like quiet, behind the scenes work, but it can make a big difference when scaled up across national programs.

I’ve had the honor of working with the SBST over the... Read More

Student practices French grammar exercises on chalkboard as teacher looks on

Partnership to institutionalize evidence in education policies in Burkina Faso

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, by J-PAL Europe

The Ministry of National Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso and J-PAL Europe launched a partnership to integrate evidence into the country’s education policies.
The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that places a J-PAL staff person inside the Ministry of National Education and Literacy. With several education reforms in the pipeline, including new adult literacy programs, curricula, and teacher training programs, J-PAL will collaborate with Ministry staff to understand the education challenges that motivated these reforms and share policy lessons from existing evaluations that can help inform their design and effective implementation. Read More