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

Building the evidence base on smallholders’ barriers to technology adoption

Monday, May 1, 2017, by J-PAL

How can we increase profits and improve livelihoods for 500 million smallholder farming households around the world—the most common occupation for people living under US$2 a day? The seven newest grantees of the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI) will evaluate strategies to increase the adoption and impact of potentially profitable technologies for smallholders. In its eighth competitive request for proposals, ATAI funded four randomized evaluations and three pilot projects.

Smallholders increasingly... Read More

A nurse hands a bednet to a pregnant woman

World Malaria Day: End malaria by preventing it

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, by Thomas Chupein and Ariella Park

This year’s theme for World Malaria Day is “End Malaria for Good”—a theme that reflects the tremendous progress that has been made since 2000 in reducing the incidence of the disease, as well as a recognition that challenges remain. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 2010 and 2015 alone, the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21% and malaria mortality rates fell by 29%. Yet in 2015,... Read More

Marking off boxes on a checklist

What does it take to launch and implement a randomized evaluation?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, by Rohit Naimpally

Randomized evaluations can be challenging to launch and implement in practice. Before designing a randomized evaluation, it is important to understand the administrative steps needed to get a project off the ground. In the US, there is a complex web of rules and regulations for research. Decisions made in the early stages of an evaluation may have lasting implications on issues like data access and use, and the ability to... 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

A group of women sit on a rug wearing saris

Recognizing World Health Day: Discovering what works to improve mental health around the world

Friday, April 7, 2017, by Thomas Chupein and Ariella Park

We often think about health in physical terms, and even then, we sometimes take our own health for granted until we start to feel poorly or become sick ourselves. The World Health Organization, however, defines health more broadly: as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

As we recognize World Health Day today, it is critical that we consider... 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

Map of the world with dots representing gender-related evaluations

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, by J-PAL

Promoting gender equity and empowering women and girls is not only important in its own right, but also contributes to poverty reduction. As J-PAL affiliate Rohini Pande (Harvard; Co-Director, Evidence for Policy Design) points out, girls’ and women’s participation in the economy and politics has the potential for far-reaching effects. "If we, as a society, can empower women politically—as leaders, as informed voters, and as active citizens—we enable... Read More