J-PAL’s Health sector focuses on identifying policies and programs effective at improving the reach, quality, and take-up of health services and products.

In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, sector chairs and staff write policy insights that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research, condense results from evaluations in policy publications and evaluation summaries, and disseminate lessons to policy makers through targeted outreach. The sector also hosts initiatives such as the US Health Care Delivery Initiative to fund new research.

A man with a tablet talking to a woman

Using Social Networks, Incentives, and Reminders to Boost Vaccine Demand

A package of interventions combining well-connected local immunization ambassadors, targeted reminders, and incentives to caregivers increased measles vaccination by approximately 55 percent in an at-scale study in Haryana, India. A version using only reminders and ambassadors was less expensive per...

A woman sits with two children on either side of her.

Improving mental health in low- and middle-income settings: Key findings from rigorous research

Mental health conditions are prevalent worldwide, especially among people living in poverty. In 2017, an estimated 10.7 percent of the global population had at least one mental health disorder. Meanwhile, access to services remains low even for those who seek care. Evidence on how to close this...

Person opening opening mail with letter containing text "Health Insurance Marketplace: You're almost done at"
Policy Insight

The effect of nudges on health insurance take-up in the United States

 Providing nudges to individuals eligible for health insurance benefits leads to small but notable increases in insurance take-up and plan switching. Low-cost, mass-outreach campaigns are particularly cost-effective compared to more-intensive interventions. 

Informal Settlement in Kenya

Positive Psychology for Psychological Well-Being and Decision-Making in Kenya

In Kenya, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation to test the impact of a light-touch positive psychology intervention on psychological well-being and economic decision-making for low-income populations. The intervention had a positive impact on gratitude; however, it had no significant...

Nurse meets with a pregnant patient.
Policy Insight

Improving health worker performance through pay-for-performance programs

Pay-for-performance incentive programs for health care workers reward providers based on measurable performance indicators. Providing performance-based pay in addition to base pay can help to improve health provider performance on well-chosen targeted indicators relative to providing only base pay. ...

Tablet displaying video messages recorded by health care workers
Evidence to Policy

Communicating Covid-19 messages at scale via social media

Researchers applied insights from earlier Covid-19 messaging research to launch a large-scale Facebook messaging campaign and corresponding evaluation reaching more than 35 million people.

Steps to purifying water with chlorine

Messaging Strategies to Promote Safe Water and Hygiene in Bangladesh

Researchers tested whether sharing messages that appealed to negative emotions, like shame or disgust, increased households’ hand-washing behavior and willingness to pay for water chlorination in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Negative messaging had no impact on chlorination levels or willingness to pay, but...

Sector Chairs

Co-Líder, Health

Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Headshot of Pascaline Dupas

Co-Líder, Health

Professor of Economics

Princeton University

Co-Líder, Health


Paris School of Economics (PSE)