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

African women in a local market doing a digital transaction.

Digital IDs and e-payments in Africa: Consolidating what we (don’t) know (yet)

Digital identification (ID) can improve targeting and reduce leakages of government programs, while also enabling citizens to participate in the digital economy. However, digital ID systems can also lead to exclusion of vulnerable groups. The implementation of digital ID systems may be particularly...
MTN and Airtel Money mobile money agent on the edge of Kampala, Uganda

Digital payments in sub-Saharan Africa: Trends over the past decade

Between 2008 and 2010, poverty in Kenya was reduced by two percent due to better access to mobile money services. To better understand the potential pathways and scale of potential impact, we summarise the findings on the expansion of digital payments, such as mobile money, in sub-Saharan Africa...
Group of people at the Development Methodologies summer-school

Strengthening development economics research in Africa: A recap of the “Development Methodologies” summer school

In July, J-PAL organised the “Development Methodologies” summer school for over seventy African researchers and policymakers, in partnership with the French Development Agency, the Fund for Innovation in Development, and the École National Supérieure de Statistique et d’Économie Appliquée of Abidjan...
A headshot of Monica Lambon-Quayefio

African Scholar Spotlight: Dr. Monica Lambon-Quayefio

In this post, we speak with Monica Lambon-Quayefio, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana. Monica’s primary research interests include health economics, spatial econometrics, development, and experimental economics.
Women wearing colorful clothes carry goods in baskets on their heads in a market in Accra, Ghana.

Gender norms and women's work: Reflecting on current evidence and policy opportunities

While the challenges women face in entering and remaining in the labor market are not new, they have worsened in the wake of the pandemic. One of the barriers to women’s economic empowerment and labor market participation is restrictive gender norms relating to the acceptability of women working...
A male farmer standing in a field of crops looks down at a mobile phone that he is holding.

Evidence for digital and bundled services: Framing a research agenda for the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative

As the reach of digital agricultural services has grown rapidly within the last few years, building an evidence base on how these services should be designed, implemented, and scaled to best align with the priorities of small-scale producers is an important and timely issue—and one that J-PAL's...
A large group of mostly women, many of whom are wearing purple, sits in front of a stage with eight people on it.

Affiliate spotlight: Sandip Sukhtankar on his path to becoming a economist and the value of interdisciplinary collaboration

By
  • Advika Roongta
Sandip Sukhtankar is an associate professor of economics at the University of Virginia. He serves on the board of J-PAL’s Digital Identification and Finance Initiative in Africa (DigiFI Africa) and co-directs the Payments and Governance Research Program (PGRP) hosted at J-PAL South Asia. Sandip’s...
Women in Kenya walk along town street while in conversation.

Unpacking the evidence on social programs in sub-Saharan Africa

J-PAL Africa recently concluded a five-part blog series providing evidence-informed perspectives on key debates in the fight against poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting lessons for policymakers.