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

People wearing masks stand in a line.

Growth is not enough

With an abundance of important and sometimes surprising findings from studies of socioeconomic interventions in recent decades, it is clear that development in the absence of evidence-based policymaking is a fool's errand. The small details matter as much as—and sometimes more than—the economic big...
A healthcare worker uses an infrared thermometer to take a woman's temperature

Closing the covid trust deficit

Economists have developed an emerging body of evidence that holds important lessons for overcoming COVID-19 information constraints, combating misinformation, and building trust in health systems. These insights may also help to improve delivery and increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. This op-ed...
A close-up picture of a card reader

Strengthening Indonesia’s branchless banking agent network: Challenges and lessons from evidence

  • Gianmarco León-Ciliotta
  • Firman Witoelar
  • Grace Retnowati
  • Raunak Kapoor
Read this recap of J-PAL SEA's Inclusive Financial Innovation Initiative's webinar on Banking the unbanked: The effects of agents’ financial incentives and transparency in increasing the take-up and usage of financial products.
Government officials stand on steps

Taking action on state and local policy priorities

This past fall, the J-PAL North America State and Local Innovation Initiative hosted a series of webinars to discuss how state and local governments can use lessons from randomized evaluations to address these timely policy challenges. The initiative seeks to take action on the conversations from...
Men and women are lined up outside holding boxes containing food aid.

Covid-19-induced crises of hunger and poverty require bold, effective international response

The Biden Administration has affirmed its commitment to work with other countries and multilateral institutions to combat Covid-19 to advance global health security. We commend this spirit of partnership and we urge similar bold, evidence-informed global action to tackle the accompanying crises of...
Teacher with child

Rigorous testing of social policies in Europe: What are we learning?

Researchers in the J-PAL network have conducted over 80 ongoing or completed randomized evaluations of social programs and policies across 20 European countries, with a particular focus on education and labor markets. J-PAL Europe has launched a summary of insights generated from this research.
Researchers from monitor carbon in peat swamp

King Climate Action Initiative’s first round of projects: Testing and scaling climate solutions

J-PAL's King Climate Action Initiative announced the results of its first competition aimed at identifying innovative solutions at the intersection of poverty and climate change, serving as a critical first step in building a longer playbook of evidence-based and cost-effective climate change...
A man and women look at their mobile phones outside a shop in Kenya.

DigiFI blog series: Deepening our understanding of the digital ID and payment research agenda

Governments across sub-Saharan Africa have been investing in new ways of digitizing financial services and identification systems to improve service delivery and governance and reduce leakages in public programs. Yet, we have limited rigorous evidence on the impacts of these reforms. To fill this...