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

A mother and her newborn baby lay in bed together.

Strengthening randomized evaluations with qualitative research: Baby’s First Years mothers' experiences

  • Sarah Halpern-Meekin
  • Katherine Magnuson
In this post, the researchers on the Baby's First Years study reflect on the value of qualitative research in both providing a deeper understanding of each participant’s background and context and painting a fuller picture of mothers’ experiences in the study.
Training staff posing for a group photo in Cairo, Egypt

Catalyzing the use of evidence for effective business training and finance in Egypt

Alison Fahey and Lobna Kassim reflect on the successful partnership between J-PAL MENA at AUC and the MSME Development Agency to create a culture of evidence-based program and policy design.
A folder labeled "Medical Bills" and marked "past due"

Exploring the benefits of rigorous evidence with the team behind the evaluation of RIP Medical Debt

Allison Sesso (Executive Director of RIP Medical Debt) and Wes Yin (UCLA) discuss the ongoing randomized evaluation of RIP Medical Debt’s model for buying and relieving medical debt.
An African teacher teaches six students in a classroom.

The long and winding road of evidence adoption

J-PAL’s mandate is to improve lives by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. So what does bridging the gap between evidence, policy and practice actually look like? J-PAL's Associate Director of Policy, Ashleigh Morrell, reflects on the three approaches J-PAL Africa has adopted...
High school girls in Accra, Ghana posing for the camera in their graduation uniforms.

Investing in girls' education? Top 3 lessons from the evidence

How can governments, donors and implementing partners decide on where to invest to improve girls’ enrollment? Global evidence on effective interventions can be a great place to start. J-PAL Africa highlight three key lessons everyone should keep in mind on keeping girls in school.
Marcella Alsan leans against a short wall, facing the viewer.

Affiliate Spotlight: Marcella Alsan on her recent MacArthur Fellowship award and researching racial disparities in health

Marcella Alsan, economist, physician, and Co-Chair of J-PAL’s US Health Care Delivery Initiative, was recently selected as a recipient of a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, in recognition of her work “investigating the role that legacies of discrimination and resulting mistrust play in perpetuating racial...
Headshots of Abhilasha and Amber

Alumni working together: Abhilasha Purwar ‘15 and Amber Luong ‘15 on the need for disruptive innovation to fight climate change

Amber Luong and Abhilasha Purwar first met on a J-PAL South Asia research team. Abhilasha has since co-founded Blue Sky Analytics, a climate tech startup, and Amber is now head of partnerships at Blue Sky. Read their story in our latest alumni interview.
A row of J-PAL staff and Burkina Faso delegates stand in front of a large tapestry.

J-PAL Global’s community reunites after 18 months of remote work

This September we reopened our doors to staff, bringing masked and vaccinated teams into the office on a rotating basis to ease social distancing. For the first time since March 2020, we also welcomed government officials to campus to discuss plans for establishing a human capital development hub in...