Policy Publications

Search our database of policy briefcases and bulletins. Briefcases summarize the results and policy recommendations from one randomized evaluation, while bulletins synthesize the broader policy lessons emerging from multiple evaluations on the same topic.

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A Balancing ACT

A retail-sector subsidy for effective antimalarials in Kenya greatly increased access among the most vulnerable, but design matters: finding the right price and providing diagnostic tests are important tools for limiting unnecessary treatment.

A Well-Timed Nudge

Enabling farmers to prepay for fertilizer when they had cash on hand was effective in promoting fertilizer adoption.

Absenteeism: Showing Up is the First Step

A range of studies have examined alternative ways to reform health and education systems and address what is perhaps the most important failure in these systems. No simple answer emerges but some general lessons do stand out.

After the Transfers Stop

  • Norbert Schady
  • Renos Vakis
  • Tania Barham
  • John Maluccio
Cash transfers directed to female caregivers in Nicaragua led to gains in child-development outcomes that persisted beyond the duration of the program.
Children and a teacher in the classroom. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Are all students ready for boarding?

Disadvantaged students who attended France’s first “boarding school of excellence” had large improvements in math scores after two years. Students initially experienced reductions in well-being, but adjusted to their new environment by the second year.

Booked for Learning

A month-long classroom “Read-A-Thon” program improved children’s reading habits and skills in the Philippines.

Cleaner Water at the Source

Protecting naturally occurring springs with simple infrastructure significantly improved source water quality and reduced the incidence of diarrhea in young children by one-quarter.

Community Grants for the Next Generation

Community block grants improved health and education in Indonesian villages, and adding performance incentives sped up improvements in health.
parents attending school information meetings. Photo: Aude Guerrucci | J-PAL

Considering All the Options: A Low-Cost Way to Reduce School Dropout

Parent meetings with school principals that provided guidance on selecting academic tracks helped reduce grade repetition and high school dropout among low-achieving students in France.