February 2019 Newsletter

February 6, 2019
A student and teacher in Zambia

Co-Impact announces funding for Teaching at the Right Level in Africa

Co-Impact, a global philanthropic collaborative for systems change, announced a commitment of US$80 million and technical support to five different initiatives with strategies to improve education, health, and economic opportunity. Teaching at the Right Level, led jointly by J-PAL Africa and Pratham, was selected as one of the five initiatives to receive funding from an initial pool of over 250 programs. Read more »

J-PAL launches Innovation in Government Initiative

J-PAL’s new Innovation in Government Initiative (IGI) will work with governments to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-informed innovations focused on education, health, and social assistance to improve the lives of people living in poverty. Starting in 2019, IGI will host innovation competitions open to teams comprised of governments in low- and middle-income countries, J-PAL regional offices, and J-PAL affiliated researchers. Read more »

Featured Policy Insight

Tailoring instruction to improve learning

In classrooms around the world, many students do not learn at grade level and struggle to catch up. Dedicating a portion of teaching time to tailored instruction, as Pratham’s Teaching at the Right Level approach does, is one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to improve learning. Evidence from 13 randomized evaluations in Chile, India, Kenya, and the United States show that tailoring instruction to students’ grade levels can overcome barriers to learning and increase test scores. Read more »

Affiliate Spotlight

The importance of an inclusive approach to development economics

In our Q&A with Seema Jayachandran (Northwestern University; Chair, J-PAL's Gender sector) and Benjamin Olken (MIT; Director, J-PAL; Scientific Director, J-PAL Southeast Asia; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Political Economy & Governance sector), they reflect on being named the new co-directors of the Development Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research and their vision for the program. “Our view of this role is that the development economics group should be broad and inclusive.” Read more »

Upcoming Events

Register today for the new MicroMasters semester

The next semester of the online J-PAL/MITx MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) begins February 5. Register now »

Interested in learning more about the DEDP courses, the benefits of joining the MicroMasters program, and how these courses could bring you to MIT for a master’s degree? Join us for a webinar on February 12 »

J-PAL North America’s Ed Tech Innovation Competition now accepting letters of interest

The Education, Technology, and Opportunity Innovation Competition supports education leaders in using randomized evaluations to generate evidence on how and to what extent uses of technology improve student learning. Education leaders can apply and receive support from J-PAL North America staff to scope and develop an evaluation, flexible funding of up to US$50,000 for pilot projects, and links to J-PAL’s network of leading academic researchers to explore potential partnerships.

Eligible applicants are encouraged to submit letters of interest by April 1. To learn more, review the eligibility requirements in the application materials and register to attend a webinar on February 8 »

March 26: European Social Inclusion Initiative conference

J-PAL Europe will host a public conference on March 26 at the Paris School of Economics to mark the launch of the European Social Inclusion Initiative. The event will bring together European policymakers, implementing partners, researchers, and foundations interested in fostering social inclusion of migrants and refugees in Europe. Register here »

Media Highlights

Improving agricultural extension and information services in the developing world

How big grants can pave the way to more investment

How collaborative philanthropy efforts are starting to learn from one another

New Research Papers

Short-term subsidies and seller type: A health products experiment in Uganda
Greg Fischer, Dean Karlan, Margaret McConnell, Pia Raffler

Making moves matter: Experimental evidence on incentivizing bureaucrats through performance-based postings
Adnan Q. Khan, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Benjamin A. Olken

Who debates, who wins? At-scale experimental evidence on debate participation in a Liberian election
Jeremy Bowles, Horacio Larreguy

The (lack of) distortionary effects of proxy-means tests: Results from a nationwide experiment in Indonesia
Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken, Sudarno Sumarto

Can mobile-linked bank accounts bolster savings? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Sri Lanka
Suresh De Mel, Craig McIntosh, Ketki Sheth, Christopher Woodruff

Featured Jobs

Summer Undergraduate Policy Intern, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Human Resources Manager, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Development Officer, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Manager/Senior Manager (IDEA), J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Finance and Operations Manager (Teaching at the Right Level Africa), J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Graphic Designer, J-PAL Global (New Delhi, India)
Deputy Director, J-PAL Africa (Cape Town, South Africa)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (ID, Payments, and Governance), J-PAL Africa (Cape Town, South Africa)
Policy Manager, J-PAL South Asia (New Delhi, India)

Explore open positions around the world »

PDF icon 2019.02-February-Newsletter.pdf1.64 MB