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

Research Methods

woman reviewing a research guide

Take practical steps to de-identifying and publishing research data with J-PAL’s new guides

Monday, January 13, 2020, by Sarah Kopper, Anja Sautmann, and James Turitto

We are pleased to announce the publication of two new methods guides to de-identifying and publishing research data. These guides draw on J-PAL’s experience of publishing research data on randomized evaluations in the social sciences for more than a decade. They provide practical advice for students, researchers, and anyone else publishing their own or others’ data.

Researchers who plan to publish their data should take every effort to minimize the... Read More

Photo: A health worker conducts a blood test on a client in Nkokonjeru, Uganda. Adam Jan Figel |

Why uncertainty in global health interventions matters—and what we can do about it

Friday, September 20, 2019, by Kalipso Chalkidou, Anupama Dathan, and Francis Ruiz

Global health interventions, like many public policies, are rife with uncertainty. Will a program, such as a malaria prevention strategy that looks strong on paper, work as intended? Will a new technology, such as a specific drug or device that appears effective in clinical trial settings, work in practice and provide good value-for-money? 

In the case of programs made up of a complex interaction of multiple interventions, implementers often create... Read More

A new hub for data in randomized evaluations

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, by Hasina Badani, Pam Kingpetcharat, Karl Rubio, and James Turitto

Today, J-PAL and IPA are excited to announce the creation of the new Datahub for Field Experiments in Economics and Public Policy. With this new dataverse, we will be housing all datasets published on The Dataverse Project by our respective organizations in one centralized location. 

Our organizations have made impressive strides in recent years in publishing data: we have made available more than 140 datasets from studies... Read More

Improving research transparency through easier, faster access to studies in the AEA RCT Registry

Thursday, August 15, 2019, by James Turitto and Keesler Welch

J-PAL and the American Economic Association (AEA) have been working together over the past year to create digital object identifiers, or DOIs, for each trial registered in the AEA Registry for Randomized Controlled Trials.

We are happy to announce that as of August 13, 2019, the Registry has officially launched this new feature! DOIs provide persistent links to web content to ensure that the content... Read More

Three key lessons for turning important research questions into successful research projects

Thursday, August 1, 2019, by Mary Alice Doyle

May 21 marked my last day as a research manager at J-PAL North America. When people ask what working at J-PAL was like, I always tell them how much I learned.  

Before I joined J-PAL North America, I worked as an economic analyst for several years and had just finished a master’s degree in economics, where I learned about randomized evaluations and other impact evaluation methods. I felt confident... Read More

Pre-results review at the Journal of Development Economics: Lessons learned so far

Monday, July 15, 2019, by Aleksandar Bogdanoski, Andrew Foster, Dean Karlan, and Edward Miguel

This post was originally published on the World Bank's Development Impact blog.

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) has been working with the Journal of Development Economics (JDE) to introduce pre-results review (also referred to as “registered reports” in other disciplines) as part of a pilot project launched in March 2018.

In this blog post, BITSS and the JDE editorial team reflect on lessons... Read More

Announcing J-PAL’s new Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Initiative

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, by Iqbal Dhaliwal, Samantha Friedlander, and Anja Sautmann

We are excited to announce J-PAL’s new Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Initiative.

IDEA’s mission is to support governments, firms, and non-profits (“data providers”) who want to make their administrative data accessible; analyze it to improve decision-making; and partner with researchers in using this data to design innovative programs, evaluate program impact through randomized evaluations, and scale up successful programs. IDEA will create long-term institutional partnerships with... Read More