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

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Resources for adapting to phone surveys during COVID-19

Over the past few months, we’ve developed new resources on transitioning to phone surveys, with guides that span from budgeting to remote trainings to quality assurance best practices. They are intended to complement our crowd-sourced best practices by providing in-depth guides that address...
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Considerations for collecting electronic signatures

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Since the spread of COVID-19, researchers across the globe have experienced the challenges of conducting research in a socially distant manner. This blog provides an overview of how to obtain signatures--for example, to document informed consent, or to execute a legal agreement—without physical...
students in China taking an exam

How prioritizing health in schools can also promote learning

As communities and governments find new and resilient ways to support families during the pandemic, schools have stood out as useful nodes within communities. For example, schools or Ministries of Education in many countries worldwide are providing much-needed nutritional support to families...
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Data collection at J-PAL Africa: Spotlight on field officers

Field officers play a vital role in J-PAL Africa’s research projects. I interviewed three team members who have been involved in multiple J-PAL Africa research projects in Johannesburg over the years: Siyabonga Mudau, Nonhlanhla Hlanguza, and Joseph Shingange.
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Celebrating a milestone: 1,000 randomized evaluations by J-PAL affiliates

Back in February of this year, J-PAL hit a milestone: our affiliates collectively conducted over 1,000 randomized evaluations. Six months later, we revisit this milestone with a new perspective.
The photo depicts a close-up shot of a man distributing medication into the hands of a woman wearing a sari.

Connecting the dots from detection to cure

If governments don’t have a good picture of the health care needs of their citizens, how can they begin to address them effectively and efficiently? Governments around the world are all too familiar with this paradox, which can be particularly challenging if administrative data on health care...
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...
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?