BlogNews

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

Research Methods

Youth paint fences in Sao Paulo

How to keep youth away from crime?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018, by Claudio Ferraz

This post was first published as an op-ed in Nexo Jornal and has been translated from the original Portuguese.

Quantitative studies conducted in the U.S. and Brazil show investments in education and job opportunity creation can act as methods for decreasing violence.

In 2017, Brazil witnessed the highest number of violent deaths in the world—approximately 60,000 people were killed. More people have died violently in Brazil in... Read More

Low-income Americans are missing out on the public benefits they're eligible for. Simple interventions can help.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018, by Matthew Notowidigdo

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—often referred to as food stamps—is one of the largest social safety net programs in the United States. But every year thousands of households eligible for SNAP benefits do not enroll, missing out on food assistance that could be critical. Enrollment among adults over the age of 60 is particularly low; in 2012, nearly half of older adults who qualified to receive SNAP benefits did... Read More

Cultivating partnerships between health care practitioners and researchers

Thursday, June 28, 2018, by Spencer Crawford

“Trust and communication lay the foundation for a good working relationship,” shared Aaron Truchil of Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers (CCHP) with over 40 audience members, including academics and innovators in health care delivery.

Truchil’s keynote address—referencing his organization’s partnership with J-PAL affiliated researchers to evaluate CCHP’s care management program—kicked off this year’s Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI) workshop.

The workshop brought together researchers and... Read More

Adapting a new educational approach to francophone West Africa

Thursday, May 31, 2018, by Ana Maria Tabacaru

In francophone West Africa, despite progress made in primary school enrollment rates, students’ learning levels remain low throughout primary school. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, more than half of students did not reach a “satisfactory” level in reading and almost three in four students did not reach a “satisfactory” level in mathematics at the end of primary school. In Niger, the numbers are even lower—in both reading and math,... Read More

Training presentation

Six rules of thumb for understanding statistical power

Monday, May 21, 2018, by Rohit Naimpally and Bridget Wack

Randomized evaluations can provide credible, transparent, and easy-to-explain evidence of a program’s impact. But in order to do so, adequate statistical power and a sufficiently large sample are essential.

The statistical power of an evaluation reflects how likely we are to detect any meaningful changes in an outcome of interest (like test scores or health behaviors) brought about by a successful program. Without adequate power, an evaluation may... Read More

Conference participants discuss work

Meet the four finalists of J-PAL North America’s latest innovation competition

Tuesday, May 15, 2018, by Spencer Crawford

“It is no longer up for debate the critical impact that social determinants of health have on chronic disease, health outcomes, health care utilization, and costs.”

“[And] no one sector or organization can ‘fix’ these daunting issues, so partnerships with the community organizations who have been the long-time experts in addressing social needs are critical to do this work effectively," said Jillian Barber, Community Benefit and Health Improvement Manager at... Read More

Keynote address

Bringing together policymakers and practitioners to shift cultural norms toward evaluation

Thursday, March 8, 2018, by Todd Hall

Implementing randomized evaluations and evidence-based policy often involves a culture shift—from fear of failure to embrace of learning, from program-centric to person-centric, and from services-oriented to outcomes-oriented.

As Linda Gibbs, a principal at Bloomberg Associates and senior fellow at Results for America, shared with an audience representing government, social services, and academia, “When you do this, you have to know some things aren’t going to work. You’ve got to acknowledge... Read More

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