January 2023 Newsletter

A woman wearing headphones and holding a book studies in a library and looks at a laptop.
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Elizabeth Linos on understanding evidence use in government

J‑PAL North America staff interviewed J-PAL affiliated professor Elizabeth Linos (Harvard) about her work understanding the government workforce, improving service delivery, and mapping how evidence informs policy in the United States. Elizabeth shares her and coauthor’s most recent working paper, “Bottlenecks for Evidence Adoption,” which discusses why rigorous evidence does not always translate to policy implementation. Read more »


Improving child nutrition: How to optimize cash transfer programs in India 

Cash transfers are widely seen as a potential solution to reduce malnutrition among children and have been implemented across India. However, new research suggests that cash transfer programs alone are not always sufficient for improving child nutrition. Pairing conditional cash transfers with additional programs, such as providing nutrition information and counseling to parents, can strengthen their effectiveness. Read more »

Reflections from alumni of J-PAL LAC’s Diploma

Since 2016, the Diploma in Impact Evaluation of Public Policy and Social Programs, offered jointly by J‑PAL Latin America and the Caribbean and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has provided students with the tools to design and understand the results of rigorous program evaluations. On our blog, Diploma alumni share what makes this program unique, as well as how online learning and scholarship accessibility has increased the diversity of student backgrounds and nationalities. Read more »


Incentives to increase milk quality in India

In Karnataka, India, researchers Manaswini Rao and Ashish Shenoy, in collaboration with J-PAL South Asia, conducted a randomized evaluation to study whether milk quality could be increased by offering collective incentive payments to village cooperatives of dairy farmers. The incentive payments decreased microbial contamination, increased hygiene, and demonstrated how leadership and relationships are significant in cooperative production. Researchers found, however, that a third of cooperative managers refused the payments when they had to publicly disclose them to cooperative members. Read more »


In a new video, recent alumni of J-PAL and MIT’s Master’s program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy reflect on why they chose the program, what they have found to be the most valuable about their experience, and how they intend to contribute to poverty alleviation through evidence-informed policies. Watch the video »


In summer 2022, 33 talented researchers joined the J-PAL network. We will feature a few of them here each month.

Tessa Bold, University of Stockholm

Andrew Dillon, Northwestern University

Jesse Rothstein, University of California, Berkeley


[February 1] J-PAL’s Upcoming Learning for All Initiative

J-PAL’s Education sector will host a webinar for policymakers and practitioners from NGOs, governments, and foundations to discuss the upcoming Learning For All Initiative (LAI). The initiative will aim to improve global learning outcomes for children in low- and middle-income countries through generating evidence on increasing foundational literacy, numeracy, and holistic skills. LAI will also seek to bridge the gap between research and policy by supporting policymakers to use evidence in designing and scaling innovative education reforms. Register »


[January 22] Applications open for the Research for Impact Fellowship in India

The Research for Impact Fellowship, hosted by J-PAL/CLEAR South Asia, is designed to enhance Indian PhD students’ capacity to conduct impact evaluations to help cultivate a network of academics who generate rigorous, policy-relevant evidence in India. This fellowship equips young development researchers with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to design and implement randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social policies and programs. The deadline for submitting applications is January 22. Learn more and apply »

[January 31] Enroll in the Data, Economics, and Development Policy MicroMasters Program

The next term of our online MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) begins January 31. Courses cover a range of topics, such as data analysis, designing and running randomized evaluations, and foundations of political economy and development policy. 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. Learn more at our webinar on January 24 and enroll in the program »

Thanks to the generous support of the Lemann Foundation and the Riady Foundation, new DEDP scholarships are available for learners from Brazil and Southeast Asia, respectively. Learn more »

[February 9] Enroll in J-PAL 101x: Evaluating Social Programs 

J-PAL’s recently updated online course on Evaluating Social Programs is now open for enrollment through February 9. This free, self-paced course explores each step in designing a randomized evaluation, from developing a theory of change and conducting the randomization process to navigating research design challenges and ethical considerations. Through lectures led by J-PAL affiliated professors and case studies using real-world examples, participants will gain an understanding of both technical design aspects and practical considerations for measuring impact with a randomized evaluation. Join a community of learners from around the world who are interested in learning how rigorous evaluation and evidence can help ensure their organizations’ programs have the intended impact. Learn more and register »


In study, reminder letters helped doctors make safer choices prescribing opioids
US News and World Report 

Breakthrough partners with Co-Impact for gender transformative school education in India
Press Trust of India 

India’s CO2 market can achieve emission cut without hitting growth
Hindustan Times


Can Temporary Wage Incentives Increase Formal Employment? Experimental Evidence from Mexico
Martin Abel, Eliana Carranza, Kimberly Jean Geronimo, and Maria Elena Ortega Hesles

Public Childcare, Labor Market Outcomes of Caregivers, and Child Development: Experimental Evidence from Brazil
Orazio Attanasio, Ricardo Paes de Barros, Pedro Carneiro, David K. Evans, Lycia Lima, Pedro Olinto, and Norbert Schady

Effects of a Maternal Psychosocial Intervention on Hair Derived Biomarkers of HPA Axis Function in Mothers and Children in Rural Pakistan
Victoria Baranov, Allison Frost, Ashley Hagaman, Julian G. Simmons, Muhammad S. Manzoor, Pietro Biroli, Sonia Bhalotra, Atif Rahman, Siham Sikander, and Joanna Maselko

Diminishing Marginal Returns to Computer-Assisted Learning
Eric Bettinger, Robert Fairlie, Anastasia Kapuza, Elena Kardanova, Prashant Loyalka, and Andrey Zakharov


Executive Director of J-PAL Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
Senior Policy Associate (Girls’ Education), Lagos, Nigeria
(Senior) Policy and Research Manager (Education), Paris, France
Post-Doctoral (Projet Equipex IDEE), Paris, France
Communications Associate, São Paulo, Brazil 
Policy Associate, New Cairo, Egypt
Data Analyst Intern, Chennai, India
Research Associate (Direct Benefit Transfers for Electricity), Visakhapatnam, India
Senior Human Resources Associate, Jakarta, Indonesia 
Postdoctoral Scholar (Economics of Science/Innovation), Cambridge, MA, US

Explore a full list of open positions around the world »