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

A man holds up his physical ID card.

Can digital IDs transform service delivery in sub-Saharan Africa? Reflections from Tavneet Suri

Digital IDs have the potential to transform the delivery of social protection programs and other government services in sub-Saharan Africa through better targeting and reduced leakages. In this podcast, Tavneet Suri, professor of Applied Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management and co-chair of J...
Prime Minister Sánchez speaking with Abhijit Banerjee on a stage.

Creating a policy lab for evaluating social inclusion policy in Spain

Together with a team of Spanish and international researchers coordinated by the Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros, J-PAL Europe is partnering with the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration to launch a Policy Lab focused on bringing evidence to the core of social...
Three women are seated on a bench outside of a dwelling, one of whom holds a small child. Two women are seated next to the bench, peeling garlic over a large bowl.

Overcoming barriers to women’s adoption of digital financial services in Indonesia

In Indonesia, various efforts, such as digital financial education programs, expansion of QR code utilization to different types of merchants, and onboarding women-owned businesses to e-commerce platforms, have been and continue to be implemented to increase women’s adoption of digital financial...
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.
Farmers in Malawi gather around a laptop to learn about fingerprinting technology.

Challenges of fingerprinting: Will digital IDs revolutionise service delivery in sub-Saharan Africa?

Can digital IDs and biometric data collection really revolutionise service delivery in Africa? Digital identification systems could assist the delivery of emergency relief programs by uniquely identifying individuals in the target countries, generating a cleaner and more precise database. However...
African woman selling in a local market while using her mobile phone.

The challenges of targeting social protection programs

Delivering social benefits to people living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries can be particularly challenging as governments are unable to observe or measure the income of individuals and small businesses. How can these countries possibly identify the poorest in society in the absence...
Women prepare food for sale in front of a shop in Kenya.

Preparing for shocks through Universal Basic Income: Evidence from Kenya

Do the effects of pre-existing social assistance programmes persist during health and economic shocks?
Two women hold up their Indonesian benefits card to receive bags of rice.

Introducing J-PAL’s new Social Protection Initiative and sector

We are launching a brand new sector and initiative at J-PAL to generate rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of social protection programs and to help partners apply evidence to high-level decision-making.