Information for Affiliates
Many of the links below direct to Google Drive. These are internal resources for affiliates and J-PAL staff. Staff have access through their povertyactionlab.org email ID, and affiliates can request access using their Google account.
To make suggestions on content to add or change on this page, please email Tom Bangura.
J-PAL affiliates are nominated by members of J-PAL's Board. The nomination is then reviewed by J-PAL's Executive Committee using the following criteria:
- Affiliates are intended to primarily be academics who publish in high quality economics journals.
- Affiliates should be currently affiliated with a university or its equivalent (at which academic freedom to publish results is protected), either as a professor or as a principal investigator. Researchers working at "funding and implementing" organizations (e.g. the World Bank, ADB or IDB) are not invited to be affiliates because of potential conflict.
For projects carried out through J-PAL or funded by its research initiatives, J-PAL has policies in place that guarantee research quality, ethical responsibility, and transparency. J-PAL staff in the regional offices are able to help affiliates implement these requirements. J-PAL Global also offers data publication and registration assistance.
- J-PAL Research Protocols
Our Research Protocols describe Minimum Must Do's and Best Practices to ensure the ethical conduct of research, data security, and data quality. Please review these protocols carefully. All projects funded or carried out by J-PAL must adhere to these guidelines.
- IPA Research Protocols
Our partner organization Innovations for Poverty Action has a similar set of Research Protocols in place that you can review here.
- Trial Registry guidelines and information on how to register
In 2012, the American Economic Association in cooperation with J-PAL implemented the AEA RCT registry. All J-PAL funded or implemented projects must be registered. Affiliates are encouraged to register all their RCTs. Note that some journals or funders also require trial registration in a public registry.
- Data publication guidelines
All data collected for J-PAL funded projects must be published in de-identified form as IRB protocols allow. Affiliates are encouraged to publish all their RCT data. Many funders have also begun to require publication of data that was collected as part of funded projects.
J-PAL Research Services for Affiliates
Data analysis replication "pre-publication"
Several Research Transparency Graduate Fellows are available to work with J-PAL affiliates to create analysis and data files ready for "push button replication": even before a paper is peer-reviewed or published, this service ensures that data analysis and data cleaning processes used in the research are robust, and all results can be replicated.
Interested affiliates are assigned a Graduate Fellow who can provide any or all of the following services, depending on the affiliate's needs:
- Replicate the analyses described in the paper
- Ensure that all estimation details are described clearly and completely in the paper
- Format replication analysis program files, including for tables and figures, ready for publication
- Replicate and/or complete any data cleaning, labeling, and organization needed to prepare the data for publication
- Prepare a full replication report.
All replication work carried out by a Graduate Fellow is strictly confidential.
Graduate Fellows are selected in a competitive process once a semester and receive full funding from J-PAL. Applicants must be PhD students in Economics, Political Science, Publich Policy, or related disciplines.
Please submit your expression of interest by emailing James Turitto, Research Manager at J-PAL Global, at [email protected]. J-PAL's pre-publication replication services are part of our research transparency work and funded by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF).
J-PAL's research team will work with you to clean, label, and document datasets collected as part of a randomized trial before publishing them in the J-PAL dataverse or another data repository of your choice. Requests for data publication services can be submitted here.
J-PAL's data publication services are part of our research transparency work and funded by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF).
AEA RCT registry assistance
J-PAL’s research team will provide affiliates assistance in registering their projects on the AEA RCT Registry, such as creating drafts based off of information in a research proposal, an application to your Institutional Review Board (IRB), narrative report, etc. For help requests, or other questions and comments, please contact Keesler Welch (Trial Registry Administrator, J-PAL) at [email protected]. Please keep in mind, the registry is only as meaningful as it is comprehensive. We appreciate your support in this effort.
Annotated Descriptions of Selected Resources in J-PAL Shared Files:
Human Subjects [back to top]
The Human Subjects section in the J-PAL shared Google Drive contains resources relating to human subjects and IRB, including information on protocols, IRB documents, and templates. This section is split into the following five categories:
The manuals section contains guidelines and protocols for human subjects and IRB e.g. the *J-PAL Human Subjects Manual that talks about when an IRB is required and what is the process for submitting and renewing an IRB. The staff training presentation on the *Ethics of Research and IRB also contains important information for staff on the importance of ethics and data security.
The templates section contains resources on sample consent forms, confidentiality and data use agreements. Following are a few key documents that can be found in this section:
- Confidentiality agreement
- Data Use Agreement
- Informed Consent and checklist
- Parental Consent for Children
- Sample Risk Verbiage
This section contains papers on the ethics of research, e.g. a paper on Conducting Ethical Economics Research: Complications from the Field and Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment.
In addition to the above resources on Google Drive, the following information might also be of use:
Links to some of the most frequently used IRBs by our affiliates:
Links to Human Subjects certifications required by J-PAL and IPA for their research staff:
Research Manuals [back to top]
The Research Manuals section on Google Drive aggregates guidelines, manuals, and documentation about J-PAL protocols across the research process. This runs the gamut from big-picture project management documentation such as our Research Protocols checklist to more niche topics such as tips for batch programming.
Manuals are separated by stage of the research process and can be browsed according to the following categories:
- General Project Management e.g. File and Folder Management Guidelines
- Finance e.g. Tips for Grant Writing
- Research Design e.g. Introduction to Power Calculations
- Intervention e.g. J-PAL Costing Guidelines
- Human Subjects and IRB e.g. J-PAL Human Subjects Manual
- Measurement e.g. Guideline to Piloting Survey Instruments
- Data Collection e.g. IPA Back Check Manual
- Data Entry (with more specific guidelines for electronic data collection) e.g. Data Entry Auditing Guideline
- Data Management (with more specific guidelines for working in Stata in particular) e.g. Doing Reproducible Research Guidelines
Data Management/Stata Code [back to top]
The Data Management section on Google Drive contains literature, example code, and guidelines on various stages of the data management process involved in the typical research project. This section is broadly split into five categories:
The section on Data Security contains guidelines on J-PAL-approved best practices, including protocols that we recommend RAs follow. In addition, there are guides to using Stata and VeraCrypt for data encryption, removal of personally identifying information, and data storage. Further guidance can be found in training materials on data security that are also included here.
The data cleaning section broadly covers two topics: real-time checks of incoming data while data collection is underway, and guidelines on how to approach data cleaning. The former includes code and templates for conducting back checks and high frequency checks with paper-based and electronic data collection systems. Guidelines include protocols for labeling missing data, best practices with organizing datasets, etc.
The data analysis section includes literature on index construction, econometrics, and analyzing data of various forms (panel, longitudinal, etc.) For Stata code and guidelines to using and getting started in Stata for data analysis, please refer to the Software Training folder containing Stata-specific resources. This latter folder contains hands-on resources including:
IPA and J-PAL self-paced Stata training modules, which include problem sets and extensive notes. Stata 101, 102, 103, and 104 are available, depending on the user’s level of Stata proficiency.
In addition, sample randomization code for Stata is available.
Staff Training [back to top]
The objective of the training is to provide staff with the theoretical and technical training needed to design and coordinate high-quality research studies in the field. Ideally, all who attend have been working on a research project for at least 3-6 months; however it is open to individuals with tenure outside of that range.
Cost of training:
For Research Associates sent by J-PAL Affiliates, the fee is about $2000 per participant but this fee depends on the location as well. This fee covers training materials, accommodation and food for five days, and transportation from the destination airport or designated meeting locale to the training location. It does not include travel to the country where training is held, computer programs, or expenses outside of the training location and dates. Always follow up the current GST announcement. Other features include:
- Access to extensive resources relevant to implementing RCT research, developed by IPA and JPAL.
- A certificate at the end of the training certifying their attendance.
- Access to a webpage where they can register, see the agenda, logistics, and other information about the training, information about the area surrounding the venue, and connect with other participants.
- Research ethics
- Research design (theory of change, measurement, etc.)
- Randomization theory
- Power calculation theory
- Questionnaire design
- Quality control in the field, for paper and electronic surveys
- Field team management
- Data entry
- Programming an electronic survey in SurveyCTO
- Stata programming, from beginner to advanced
- Power calculations in Optimal Design
- Data security
Staff Training Content can be viewed on the J-PAL shared drive: includes sample agenda, lectures, case studies, presentations and course packet.
Budgets and Grant Writing [back to top]
The Budgets and Grant Writing section on SharePoint contains guidelines on how to write grants and prepare budgets. Additional resources in this section are organized into five different categories as follows:
The Training and Tips section contains resources that provide tips on best practices for writing grants, managing budgets and tracking expenses on the field e.g. this presentation on Principles of Budgeting and Expense Tracking and a blog post by David McKenzie on Tips for writing Impact Evaluation Grant Proposals
The Collecting Cost Data section contains a Costing Template. The goal of this template is to collect costs for all ingredients needed to implement a program or intervention, excluding the costs of evaluating the impact of that program. Collecting this cost data is important in determining the cost-effectiveness of a program.
The Budget Guidelines section contains a manual on what kinds of costs to consider when creating a budget. It provides a list of all the different kinds of costs that are incurred in a typical project and provides guidelines on how to account for those costs in your budget.