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

Women walk down a street wearing face masks

Taking an evidence-informed approach to pandemic response

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold worldwide, J-PAL affiliated professors and staff jumped into action to critically analyze the evidence base and work closely with government partners to inform policy decisions with evidence.
Young people in matching t-shirts sort cans.

Mayor de Blasio, bring back summer jobs

There is still time, and it can be done safely. The economic and social payoff is totally worth it. This op-ed was originally posted in the New York Times on June 29, 2020.
A woman wearing a medical face mask counts rupee notes after collecting cash of financial assistance through a mobile wallet under the governmental Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for families in need during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Islamabad on April 9, 2020.

Hard data for hard choices

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Before COVID-19 arrived, social scientists had already established that cash transfers and mobile money are two of the most effective tools for assisting the poor and vulnerable in difficult conditions. Now is the time for governments to act on those findings, and to build up additional data for the...
The image pictures a women's hand with the palm facing out.

Evidence-based approaches to tackling recent increases in gender-based violence

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Many countries have witnessed a surge in cases of domestic violence due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders. This phenomenon is especially concerning in Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia, where rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) are...
A hand fills out a PPP loan application form.

Too complicated, too confusing: why more small businesses aren’t applying for coronavirus relief loans, and what we can do to reach them

Economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19 will depend on the survival of businesses, yet many at-risk small businesses struggle to reach the SBA’s financial lifeboat. How might policymakers encourage emergency relief loan applications from the most vulnerable small businesses?
A man shows a tablet to a small child who is doing homework.

Using evidence to effectively support education during COVID-19

In light of school closures caused by COVID-19, millions of students are home for the remainder of the academic year. Philanthropy will play a vital role in the response to this crisis. But how can education funders and donors ensure that they are allocating their resources effectively?
A dad works on his laptop on the couch while children climb all over him.

Working remotely or remotely working? Best practices in working from home post COVID-19

Research from randomized evaluations can shed light on some of the benefits of working from home for employees and their employers—and best practices for those of us looking to maximize our productivity while preserving some work-life balance.
Indiana state house building

State and local policy responses to COVID-19: Lessons from evidence

J-PAL North America has curated a set of randomized evaluations that tested specific policy options related to the social safety net, health, and education. Our goal is to provide actionable evidence to inform state and local leaders’ policy responses to challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.