December 2018 Newsletter

December 13, 2018
December 2018 newsletter

In J-PAL's 2018 newsletter, read our new report on creating a culture of evidence use, learn about the new European Social Inclusion Initiative, and browse open positions in research, policy, and training during our annual recruitment drive.

Creating a culture of evidence use

It’s easy to talk about increasing the use of evidence in policymaking—but what does it take to do this in practice? Our new report summarizes lessons from interviews with over forty officials in fifteen government agencies across Latin America to shed light on effective methods through which governments have adopted evidence-based decision-making in the region. Read more »

Launching the European Social Inclusion Initiative

Many programs and policies across Europe aim to tackle social and economic exclusion of migrants and refugees, but there is little evidence suggesting which approaches work and which do not. J-PAL Europe recently released a white paper that reviews three key levers of social inclusion in the Europe context: education, skills for youth, and migrant inclusion. This paper lays the groundwork for a multi-year initiative to fund new research and share emerging lessons on effective social inclusion policies in the region. Read more »

Supporting refugee learners through the MITx MicroMasters

More than 68.5 million people around the world have fled their homes in search of safety and stability. For many, their entire young adulthood is spent in a host community where they face barriers to academic and professional integration. MIT’s Refugee Action Hub and J-PAL have partnered to create a blended online and in-person program for refugees enrolled in the MITx MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. Read more »

Data security explained

A new resource from J-PAL North America provides a primer on basic data security procedures for all researchers who access data during an impact evaluation. The resource introduces best practices for data storage, access, transmission, and sharing; provides insights on software selection; and includes guidance for minimizing threats to data security. Read the brief »


Fund flow reform for social program delivery in India

Many government social programs in India are plagued by public service delivery failures. J-PAL affiliates Abhijit Banerjee (MIT; Director, J-PAL), Esther Duflo (MIT; Director, J-PAL), Clément Imbert (University of Warwick), and Rohini Pande (Harvard; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Political Economy & Governance sector), together with Santhosh Mathew, found that introducing an information technology reform that linked the flow of public funds to actual expenditures reduced corruption and improved program efficiency. Drawing on these results, India’s Union Cabinet approved a national reform of its flagship social protection program. Read more »


Getting digital financial inclusion right
J-PAL Blog

How do we achieve affordable, quality health care? Follow the evidence.
J-PAL Blog

Opinion: Pollution by the numbers
Project Syndicate


The Contribution of Patients and Providers to the Overuse of Prescription Drugs
Carolina Lopez, Anja Sautmann, Simone Schaner

Leveraging Patients’ Social Networks to Overcome Tuberculosis Underdetection: A Field Experiment in India
Jessica Goldberg, Mario Macis, Pradeep Chintagunta

The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Voter Participation: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment
Katherine Baicker, Amy Finkelstein

Cumulative Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia
Nur Cahyadi, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken, Rizal Adi Prima, Elan Satriawan, Ekki Syamsulhakim

Measuring Skills in Developing Countries
Rachid Laajaj, Karen Macours

Free Contraception and Behavioural Nudges in the Postpartum Period: Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial in Nairobi, Kenya
Margaret McConnell, Claire Watt Rothschild, Allison Ettenger, Faith Muigai, Jessica Cohen


J-PAL’s annual recruitment drive is open until January 11. We are hiring for more than 100 positions at all levels in research, policy, training, and more, including the following:

Policy Associate, Gender, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Manager or Senior Manager, IDEA, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Policy Manager, J-PAL South Asia (New Delhi, India)
Training Manager, J-PAL South Asia (New Delhi, India)
Deputy Director, J-PAL Africa (Cape Town, South Africa)
Senior Policy Associate, ID, Payments, and Governance, J-PAL Africa (Cape Town, South Africa)

Explore open positions »

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