Policy Outreach at J-PAL Africa

The J-PAL Africa policy team works with governments, researchers and NGOs to increase evidence use by bridging the gap between rigorous research and action in sub-Saharan Africa to improve lives at scale. Based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, our policy staff work across the continent. Our work covers a wide variety of topics. We have substantial experience catalyzing evidence use in Education and Labor Markets sectors.

Featured Policy Outreach

Teaching at the Right Level Africa

A joint venture by Pratham and J-PAL, the TaRL Africa team supports partners working to address the learning crisis in primary schools in Africa through the evidence-based TaRL approach. This new joint team consists of a central team that provides high-leverage support to governments and partners across the continent trying to scale the approach in their own settings and in-country support teams in Côte d’Ivoire and Zambia, where we are working comprehensively with governments and partners on their TaRL approaches. Learn more »

Contact: Laura Poswell

Digital Identification and Finance Initiative

The Digital Identification and Finance Initiative (DigiFI) for Africa aims to generate rigorous evidence on how African governments, private companies, and NGOs can leverage digital payments and identification systems to improve lives through better public service delivery, governance, and financial inclusion. To achieve this vision, DigiFI plans to support governments and other implementers to monitor and evaluate relevant reforms. Learn more »

Contact: Nidhi Parekh

How the J-PAL Africa Policy Team Works

The J-PAL Africa policy team builds partnerships with governments, researchers and NGOs to support the use of evidence from randomized evaluations to drive policy reform and practice to improve lives at scale. We work with partners to understand their contextual needs, challenges and priorities. We then map whether new or existing evidence could be applied to address these needs. We understand that effective use of evidence at scale can take time, and thus engage in long-term partnerships with scaling partners to effectively bridge the gap between research, policy and practice. Our support to evidence application includes:

  1. Nurturing the development of policy relevant research

    Our team supports the development of policy-relevant research, including identifying cross-cutting policy priorities, supporting fundraising and matching researchers to governments and implementing partners, an example of this work is the DigiFI Africa.

  2. Sharing relevant policy insights

    Our team tailors global evidence to local contexts to provide clear, concise and relevant lessons with policymakers and implementers to inform policies and programs.

  3. Supporting the scale-up of effective programs

    We provide support to scale-up evidence-informed interventions in the context where they were studied if shown to be successful. This includes convening and coordination of partners, knowledge management and technical assistance for scale partners. We also support the application of global evidence to new local contexts. This includes working with governments and NGOs to assess whether a program is a good fit using the generalizability framework, connecting scaling partners to the original implementing teams, providing implementation resources, and initiating strategic multi-partner collaborations to pilot and scale-up programs effectively. An example of this kind of work is Teaching at the Right Level Africa.


For more information on policy outreach at J-PAL Africa, please contact Alessia Mortara.