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

Zambian farmers load truck

Affiliate Spotlight: Kelsey Jack

J-PAL affiliate Kelsey Jack is leading a movement of climate-focused research within development economics and poverty alleviation through her own research and as co-chair of the King Climate Action Initiative.
A woman uses her phone

Can digital technology help create a more gender-equal society?

Despite considerable progress in achieving gender parity, inequalities faced by women remain a major global challenge. Can access to the right financial tools support women’s empowerment and result in better outcomes for not only women but also children, household welfare, and the wider community?
A woman wearing a mask weighs bread in a store

Mapping the impact of COVID-19 on firms in LMICs: A snapshot from ongoing surveys

To understand how the pandemic has altered the business landscape in LMICs, J-PAL’s Firms Sector is synthesizing results from surveys conducted by J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers on the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) around the world. This snapshot...
Two men sitting down listening to a facilitator of the UBL program

Preventing intimate partner violence by engaging men: Evidence from Unite for Better Life in Ethiopia

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A growing body of evidence suggests that gender inequality, especially social norms that endorse violence against women, is one of the main drivers of IPV. What programs can effectively build more gender equitable attitudes and behaviors, and do these behaviors translate into reductions in violence...
A man and woman look at their mobile phones

Leveraging the digital revolution: Can governments utilize big data to help decision making?

Using evidence to make policy decisions can be a challenge when the information one needs is not credible, easily accessible, or interpretable. However, this difficulty can be overcome with the use of a high-frequency monitoring system. As governments and organizations move towards more digitized...
A woman pays mechanic through a mobile phone transfer

Overcoming under-subscription of welfare programs: Digital solutions to low take-up

Welfare programs are in developing countries can have low coverage as a result of low take-up. One barrier to take up may be the perceived lack of IDs. We explore if digital IDs and payments offer a possible solution.
A person manages book of mobile cash transfers

Incentivizing public sector employees: The role of digital technology in enhancing the carrot and the stick

Employee effectiveness is a key driver of productivity and economic development in the public sector. But how does one motivate public sector employees to perform and deliver services? Understanding what drives these employees to work hard, and how different (dis)incentives can energize (or reduce)...
Two South African youths engaging in online skills training

Reducing labour market information frictions with skill certificates: Evidence from South Africa

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Limited information during a firm's hiring decision or a workseeker's search can lead to "information frictions" that may contribute to the high global youth unemployment rate. In a recently published paper, J-PAL affiliated researchers showed how assessing youth workseeker skills in South Africa...