April 2023 J-PAL LAC Quarterly Newsletter

latin america and the caribbean country map

New quarterly newsletter from J-PAL LAC

This year J-PAL is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, and at J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) we are celebrating the occasion by launching our new quarterly newsletter to share updates on policy-relevant research, initiatives, courses, events, resources, and more—made possible by partners, donors, tJ-PAL’s network of affiliated professors, and staff. This newsletter will be available in three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

But that is not all. Throughout the year, J-PAL will commemorate its two decades all around the world and we want you to be part of that celebration! Read an update from J-PAL LAC's Executive Director Paula Pedro on our work in education, labor, and gender; how we are strengthening our partnerships with implementers and governments; and J-PAL LAC's achievements since its foundation. 

We hope that this newsletter offers you helpful resources for improving lives through evidence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Collage of photos of the International Seminar on Education's presenters
Photo credit: Centro de Políticas Públicas UC

J-PAL LAC’s education seminar brought together Chilean government officials and researchers

On March 14, J-PAL LAC and Centro de Políticas Públicas UC co-hosted an international seminar to share evidence on education. J-PAL affiliated professor Philip Oreopoulos (University of Toronto; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Education sector) presented global evidence on promising programs, and J-PAL affiliated professor Francisco Gallego (UC Chile; Scientific Director, J-PAL LAC) highlighted  Decidiendo para un Futuro Mejor, a program implemented in coordination with the Chilean Ministery of Education to reduce school dropouts. The event ended with a panel including Paula Pedro (Executive Director, J-PAL LAC), representatives from the Chilean Ministry of Education, and academics discussing how policymakers and researchers can work together to address current educational challenges. Watch the event recording (in Spanish) »

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Department of Justice
Photo credit: Tupungato, Shutterstock

Expanding government partnerships in Brazil and Mexico while promoting gender equity

Thanks to the support of Co-Impact and Community Jameel, we will significantly expand our evidence-to-policy government partnerships in Brazil and Mexico. Through these partnerships, local, regional, and national government agencies will learn about how to generate and use evidence and data in policymaking to reduce gender inequality. In a new blog post, we write about how these partnerships will train governments to generate and use evidence. Read the blog post »


Women having a union meeting
Photo credit: Juan Arredondo/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

Training and outreach for women’s agency in Central America

In January 2023, thanks to the support of the Cotopaxi Foundation, J-PAL LAC started a project for training and policy outreach around women's agency in Central America. As a first step, we organized events in Costa Rica (hosted by the University of Costa Rica) and in Panama (hosted by Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación), where Valeria Lentini (Research and Policy Advisor, J-PAL LAC) and Megan Morris (Policy Manager, J-PAL Global) highlighted the importance of evidence in designing and enhancing programs that meaningfully improve women’s lives. Stay tuned for upcoming trainings. Learn more »

Woman carrying a hack in the Andes
Photo credit: Stephen Reich, Shutterstock

Climate action in LAC: Policy lessons and open questions

What are effective solutions to mitigate climate change? In collaboration with J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative, J-PAL LAC held webinars in Portuguese and Spanish to answer these and other climate questions. Claudia Macías (Deputy Executive Director, J-PAL LAC), Andre Zollinger (Policy Manager, J-PAL Global), and Alipio Ferreira (Post-Doctoral Researcher, J-PAL LAC) shared results from evaluations on climate change mitigation, pollution reduction, climate change adaptation, and energy access. They also discussed ongoing randomized evaluations on these topics in Latin America and the Caribbean. Watch the event recording in Spanish or Portuguese »

Mujer trabajando en una fábrica
Photo credit: Mangostar, Shutterstock

JOI Brazil launches new publication series on evidence in labor markets

J-PAL’s Jobs and Opportunity Initiative Brazil and the International Development Bank have launched the new publication series, "Evidence in Labor Market Policies and Implications for Brazil,” which is dedicated to sharing lessons from rigorous evidence on labor market policies. The first publication in the series is now available and highlights key lessons from job training programs, advice for addressing gender-specific barriers, and evidence on innovative and impactful programming relevant to Brazil. Read the first publication »


[May 5–26] Free: Enroll in a four-day training on using evidence for improving women's agency

J-PAL LAC will host an online free training on randomized evaluations and evidence use for organizations dedicated to social programs with a gender lens in Central America, supported by the Cotopaxi Foundation and the Target Foundation. The event will be held in Spanish on May 5, 12, 19, and 26. Enroll now »  

[Due June 6] DEDP scholarships for Brazilian students

Brazilian learners are now eligible for scholarships for J-PAL and MITx Online’s MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) thanks to the Lemann Foundation’s support. Students who complete the DEDP program credential are eligible to apply for the on-campus Master’s in DEDP at MIT or one of the pathway universities.  Applicants should be committed to Brazil's social transformation and be Brazilian citizens. Courses for the next term start on May 30, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is June 6Learn more and submit an application » 


[May 5] Sharing evidence on women’s agency relevant to Central America

J-PAL LAC will host a webinar to share evidence on enhancing women and girls' agency in Central America. Presenters will share insights from effective strategies that have been used around the world to support women’s agency and address restrictive gender norms. The webinar will be held in Spanish in collaboration with Estado de la Región, Cotopaxi Foundation, and Target Foundation. Register »


Promoting women's agency with J-PAL LAC 

J-PAL LAC is driving the research agenda on gender in LAC with J-PAL’s Gender and Economic Agency Initiative by funding evaluations and disseminating the evidence. You can read more in our blog posts on our work in the last year and the ongoing year. Learn about how you can help us promote women’s agency in Central America and email us at [email protected] »


Cotopaxi Foundation highlights our newest collaboration. Read more (in English) »

The Mexican magazine Nexos features our article on evidence use for policymaking. Read more (in Spanish) »

A coauthored article from J-PAL’s Jobs and Opportunity Initiative Brazil and LabJaca explores designing policies from and for favelas in Brazil. Read more (in Portuguese) »

The Chilean newspaper El Mercurio published an opinion piece by J-PAL affiliated professor Francisco Gallego (UC Chile; Scientific Director, J-PAL LAC) on how evidence can help to scale back interventions that have been shown to have null effects, such as for an educational program in Chile. Read more (in Spanish) »