J-PAL announces new, multi-year training partnership in Cote d’Ivoire to increase use of rigorous evidence in national policies and programs

A classroom of students listens to a lecture.
Participants from a 2022 training in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire hosted by J-PAL in partnership with with the French Development Agency (AFD), the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID), and the École National Supérieure de Statistique et d’Économie Appliquée (ENSEA). Photo: Noeïm Photographie

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Europe office, based at the Paris School of Economics (PSE), announced its plans to collaborate with the National School of Statistics and Applied Economics of Abidjan (ENSEA) on an ambitious capacity building effort in Côte d’Ivoire.

This collaboration, supported by the Ivorian government and the French Development Agency (AFD), will target students and in-service civil servants through a range of training programs, including a master’s degree program in rigorous policy impact evaluation and an in-service training for civil servants blending in-person events and online courses from the DEDP MicroMasters Program. On January 15, J-PAL and ENSEA co-launched a civil servants training that will equip 40–60 civil servants per year with the tools for rigorous impact evaluation. 

The partnership in Côte d’Ivoire marks the beginning of a broader collaboration between J-PAL and Community Jameel, an international organisation advancing science and learning for communities to thrive, which will see the formal launch of a new Alliance for Data, Evaluation, and Policy Training, ADEPT, later this year. ADEPT will equip individuals and organizations around the world with the tools to innovate, test, and scale policies and programs designed to fight poverty. This expansion of J-PAL’s capacity building work worldwide will empower a new generation with the capacity, ambition, and opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people experiencing poverty.

“I am delighted to commit ENSEA, as the first institution in Africa, in this brand new and promising initiative to build solid human capital for the evaluation of public policies, so that every penny is spent efficiently to benefit development and help reduce poverty,” said Dr. Hugues Kouadio, Director of ENSEA.

ADEPT will unfold as a network of academic institutions, governments, and multilateral organizations around the world working with J-PAL to offer high-quality training in rigorous impact evaluation and policy design. ADEPT will additionally aim to engage with governments and other learning institutions to empower civil servants and leadership to champion a culture of effective, evidence-based policymaking.

While ADEPT partnerships will include an initial collaboration with J-PAL to establish institutional training programs, the goal is to ultimately lay a strong foundation that will enable these programs to thrive in the long term without direct J-PAL involvement.

“With demand for evidence continuing to grow, the world needs many more people with the capacity, ambition, and opportunity to make change,” said Esther Duflo, Co-Founder and Director of J-PAL and the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “ADEPT represents a new vision to scale our capacity building work beyond the limits of what we can achieve alone, creating a global ecosystem of evidence-informed policymaking that will help transform how decisions are made and improve countless lives.”

George Richards, Director of Community Jameel, said: “ADEPT is a powerful new way for J-PAL to massively scale up its support for the worldwide movement of researchers and practitioners working to alleviate poverty through scientific evidence. With the need to expand this work as great as ever—in the face of climate change, conflict and other challenges—Community Jameel is supporting J-PAL to launch ADEPT later this year, and we are excited to see the ground laid for an ADEPT programme in Côte d’Ivoire.”

The work ahead requires a truly collaborative effort to engage new audiences and partners, and work with existing J-PAL partners in new ways, to breathe life into this vision, help shape it, and put it into action. For more information or to explore ADEPT partnerships, contact us.