J-PAL South Asia’s Policy Engagements to Support Governments during Covid-19

J-PAL South Asia, with its mission of mobilizing evidence to improve policy making, is providing policy advisory support and engaging in new research within the framework of existing engagements and partnerships with state and central governments in the region.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused large-scale disruptions in the routine delivery of public services and social programs all over the world. This has created unprecedented challenges in identifying and implementing impactful and cost-effective solutions for policymakers and practitioners grappling with development questions, old and new. There is a need for high-quality data and evidence to inform immediate as well as long-term decisions that have arisen in the wake of the pandemic.

Supporting our Institutional Partners

Government of Punjab

Iqbal Dhaliwal, Global Executive Director, J-PAL and Scientific Director, J-PAL South Asia, was appointed to the Government of Punjab's Group of Experts for Covid-19 Relief on April 24, 2020, a group instituted by Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab to aid the north Indian state's post-lockdown economic recovery. The Group is chaired by eminent economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia and aims to develop a medium- to long-term recovery strategy by addressing policy measures in the areas of social protection, industry, healthcare, education, digitization in agriculture, governance, and finance, among others. Dhaliwal is a part of the digitization, social-sector, and skills and education sub-groups. The digitization group is addressing issues of enabling systematic use of data for better governance, digitization of agricultural supply chains, supporting the start-up ecosystem, financial services for MSMEs using digital tools, and developing internet infrastructure. The social sector sub-group is working on methods to ensure protection of vulnerable populations such as migrant workers, and enabling portability of benefits across states. The skills and education sub-group is developing strategies to build long-term and sustainable skilling and education infrastructure in the state. Drawing on existing evidence from randomized evaluations, Dhaliwal and the team at J-PAL South Asia is advising the sub-groups by sharing insights from global evidence, and analyzing relevant data for quick and actionable policy recommendations. 

Government of Tamil Nadu

The Government of Tamil Nadu entered into a partnership with J-PAL South Asia in 2014 to institutionalise the use of evidence in its policy decisions. Since then, over 30 J-PAL affiliated and invited researchers have partnered with nine line departments for studies to inform policy, including the first panel survey for the elderly in India, a rigorous evaluation to address sleep deprivation for the urban poor, and a large scale study to identify effective interventions to reduce malnutrition and improve school preparedness through anganwadi centers.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has formed a high-level committee to recommend measures to revive economic growth as a Covid-19 midterm response, and has sought views and inputs from J-PAL to develop this effort.

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This page was last updated on September 4, 2020. For further information, please reach out to Vidita Priyadarshini ([email protected]).

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