J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in India, leads J-PAL’s work in the South Asia region. J-PAL South Asia conducts randomised evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programmes.

We have a growing number of partnerships in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In 2011, we were selected to host the South Asia Center for CLEAR, a global initiative coordinated by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. Under this initiative, we host a knowledge sharing roundtable series and equip practitioners with the expertise to carry out rigorous evaluations through training courses, advisory services, and joint research projects.

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Message from J-PAL South Asia Executive Director, Shobhini Mukerji

Shobhini Mekerji In March 2020, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in India prompted an overhaul of even longstanding institutional structures. Public school systems reckoned with prolonged school closures and government social security ecosystems as well as public health apparatuses faced their toughest stress test in living memory. 

While early 2021 brought with it a reduction in the number of daily cases, this respite was short lived. As of April 2021, rising numbers of Covid-19 infections in India have sent shockwaves across the country and pushed the country’s health infrastructure to the brink. 

From the beginning of the pandemic and into this deadly second wave, J-PAL South Asia has prioritized caution in face of uncertainty: staff and leadership embraced the challenge to  pivot support to our partners and address new policy challenges, while keeping safety paramount. Throughout, we have been closely monitoring the on-ground situation across the states and districts in which we work, and have taken systematic measures to suspend all field research activities to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and the communities we work with. All J-PAL South Asia offices are currently closed and travel halted. However, we continue to be available to our partners and stakeholders to engage and support them in this crisis.  

We thank our staff and partners for their continued support during this unprecedented calamity. We have a long road ahead, of great opportunities and lots of good work in the fight against poverty. But right now, our focus must be singly on the health and well-being of all our staff, our families, and our responsibility towards the communities we live and work in. 

We are continuing to work closely with our partners and informing their decisions with evidence.

Please visit our Covid-19 Research and Policy webpages for more information on our efforts. 

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Shobhini Mukerji
Executive Director, J-PAL South Asia
April 23, 2021

Smoke stacks billowing smoke in India

Government of Punjab, J-PAL South Asia, and EPIC India launch an Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce industrial air pollution in the state

The Government of Punjab’s Department of Industry & Commerce and the Department of Science, Technology & Environment is partnering with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC India) to launch the use of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to tackle growing industrial air pollution in Punjab.

Beneficiaries collect rations from a government shop during the covid-19 pandemic

Using Phone Surveys to Improve Public Service Delivery and Guide Crisis Response

In low- and middle-income countries, regular program monitoring for improving public service delivery and the beneficiary experience is often constrained by slow, indirect processes such as periodic government surveys as well as unrepresentative, sporadic data from government dashboards and...

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Breaking the glass ceiling in economics and policy, one conversation at a time

Read our interview with Prerna Kundu and Prashansa Srivastava, Co-Founders of Women in Economics and Policy, and Research Associates at J-PAL South Asia.

A young man and young woman studying together

Tackling gender equality early: Adolescents are very responsive to normalisation of progressive attitudes in schools

A J-PAL affiliated evaluation in India found that educating young adolescents on gender identity and equality led to children developing more progressive views on gender equity and women's education and employment. Now, the government of Punjab is introducing a gender sensitization program in public...