Policy Insights

What have we learned from randomized evaluations that policymakers, practitioners, and funders can use to improve social programs? J-PAL’s Policy Insights, organized by sector, highlight lessons emerging across multiple studies and the mechanisms that help explain the results.

J-PAL’s Sector Chairs and staff draw these insights from relevant randomized evaluations, updating and adding insights as the body of evidence grows. Each Policy Insight briefly summarizes their perspective on the evidence on a specific topic, with links to the original research and policy summaries. Read this blog post for more information about how we develop Policy Insights.

When combined with a detailed understanding of context and program implementation, we hope these insights can be practical inputs for policy and program design. For examples of how insights from randomized evaluations have informed policy, visit our Evidence to Policy page.

students in China taking an exam

Improving learning outcomes through school-based health programs

Last updated:
Around the world, learning levels remain low and therefore a priority area for improvement. A key barrier to participation and learning in school is student health, especially in low- and middle-income countries. However, due to a lack of coordination between health and education departments, the...
A Teaching at the Right Level reading activity in Zambia. Photo: Anton Scholtz | J-PAL

Tailoring instruction to students’ learning levels to increase learning

Last updated:
In classrooms around the world, many students are not learning at grade level and struggle to catch up. Dedicating a portion of instruction time to tailoring instruction to the learning levels of students is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways of improving learning. Tailored...
Cash transfer in Kenya

Using cash transfers to improve child health in low- and middle-income countries

Last updated:
Cash transfer programs conditional on the use of health products and services generally increase uptake and improve child health outcomes among households that receive them. Cash transfers that increase uptake of healthy behaviors in the short term can improve cognition and educational outcomes in...
girl in school in India

Augmenter le taux de scolarisation et l’assiduité scolaire: impacts selon le genre

Last updated:
Réduire le coût de la scolarité et mieux sensibiliser la population aux bienfaits de l’éducation permet d’augmenter la participation scolaire des garçons et des filles. Les programmes les plus efficaces ont tendance à bénéficier tout particulièrement au genre dont l’assiduité est initialement la...
Two adults sit outside reading with three children.

Encouraging early childhood stimulation from parents and caregivers to improve child development

Last updated:
Evidence from 11 low- and middle-income countries shows that encouraging caregivers to play and interact with children aged 0–3 in a stimulating way improves children’s cognitive development. These programs can increase the time and resources parents invest in their children’s development. However...
Teacher helping student

Reducing community college dropout through comprehensive supports

Last updated:
Providing community college students with a wide range of comprehensive supports, such as counseling, tutoring, and financial assistance, can improve low rates of persistence and graduation. These support programs address many simultaneous barriers that students face, which may be a key driver...