April 2021 North America Newsletter

J-PAL North America staff virtual Zoom meeting.

Good afternoon,

At J-PAL North America, we strive to reduce poverty by ensuring that policies are informed by scientific evidence. We also understand that identifying and dismantling systemic racism is essential to advancing this mission. The ongoing acts of discrimination and violence against people of color underscore the systems-level change that is needed to build a more inclusive and equitable society.

As one small step towards this goal, I would like to invite each of you to explore our new webpage on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and share your thoughts and feedback with me. Our new page highlights our network’s completed and on-going research related to racial equity, shares some resources we have found helpful, and spotlights the work of organizations leading efforts to make the economics field more inclusive. In providing this information, we hope that it may be useful for others who are also striving to catalyze research to advance racial equity, promote inclusion in economics, and center community voices in research practices. 

Our efforts are a work in progress, and we welcome your feedback both to improve how we do our work and to hold ourselves accountable.

Mary Ann Bates
Executive Director, J-PAL North America

New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage highlights anti-racism efforts

Dismantling systemic racism is vital to J-PAL North America’s goal of reducing poverty. This new webpage sheds light on J-PAL North America’s ongoing anti-racism work, from catalyzing racial equity research to building a more inclusive field of economics. The page highlights published and ongoing randomized evaluations on topics related to racial equity, including projects that demonstrate employer-based racial discrimination, describe implicit mechanisms of racial inequity, address biased norms and attitudes, and address structural, institutional, and systemic racism. Webpage visitors can also learn about J-PAL’s efforts to center community voices in research, the Economics Transformation Project’s mission to build a more inclusive field of economics, and the ongoing efforts of J-PAL North America’s DEI working group. This page will continue to evolve as J-PAL North America remains committed to anti-racism work both internally and on a larger scale.

[email protected] convening reflects on eight years of randomized evaluations to improve health care delivery

On May 5, J-PAL North America’s US Health Care Delivery Initiative will celebrate its eighth year supporting randomized evaluations with [email protected] , a convening of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers sharing key lessons learned over the years. The virtual convening will feature sessions and panels highlighting prior and current evaluations on workplace wellness programs, social determinants of health, and health care payment systems. Panelists will discuss interdisciplinary partnerships and how randomized evaluations can be used to answer important health questions to improve the lives of Americans, particularly those experiencing poverty, through effective and equitable health care delivery. This event is free and open to the public. To register, please use this form. We hope you’ll join us. 

Upcoming virtual J-PAL course builds skills to design and use evidence from impact evaluations

J-PAL’s Executive Education course, Evaluating Social Programs , equips participants with resources and knowledge to design, use, and interpret evidence from impact evaluations of social programs. This year, the program will be held live over Zoom in the form of a four-day training workshop from June 14-17. The interactive course is designed for a range of participants and aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how randomized evaluations can be used to rigorously measure social impact, methods and considerations for their design and implementation, and how findings can inform evidence-based policies and programs. A combination of lectures and case studies using real-world examples will prepare participants to apply learnings at their home organizations. In addition to structured course content, participants will also have the opportunity to collaborate, network, and build relationships with their peers from other organizations. Interested participants are encouraged to apply now as space is limited; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.