January 2024 Newsletter

Three Female Students With Teacher Building Robot Vehicle In After School Computer Coding Class
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Empowering women in STEM through role models

In a new Policy Insight, J-PAL’s Gender sector summarizes evidence from seven randomized evaluations across four high-income countries on the effect of women role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) on girls’ ambitions and career achievements.

Policy issue: Globally, women’s representation in STEM is low compared to men—in 2022 only 7 percent of women graduated with a degree in engineering and manufacturing, compared to 25 percent for men. This underrepresentation contributes to sustained gender gaps in the labor market, affecting women’s career opportunities and broader economic growth.

Findings: Exposure to women role models often positively impacts female students’ participation and educational performance in STEM fields by improving students’ perceptions and aspirations of pursuing STEM careers. Read the Policy Insight »

Five scaling stories from the King Climate Action Initiative

Three years ago, J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI) concluded its first funding competition to support research and scaling projects at the nexus of climate change and poverty alleviation. Since then, K-CAI has generated evidence that has informed real-world policy design and implementation, including the ongoing scaling of five policies and programs that cut emissions and/or enhance resilience. On the J-PAL blog, see how actionable insights from K-CAI-funded research are being used by policymakers from India to the United States. Read more »

20 for 20: Partnering with UNICEF for child and adolescent well-being


In the latest installment in our “20 for 20: Partner Voices” blog series marking J-PAL’s 20th anniversary, UNICEF’s Lina Nabarawy reflects on their four-year partnership with J-PAL Middle East and North Africa. This collaboration aims to support policymakers and development practitioners in leveraging J-PAL's worldwide evidence base to inform program planning and identifying solutions to policy challenges that affect Egypt’s children and their families. Read more »


Three lessons from J-PAL North America’s ten year convening
Read more »

Fighting gender-based violence: An evidence-based call to UNITE!
Read more »

The private sector’s role in worker well-being, sustainability, and inclusive growth
Read more »


In summer 2023, 33 talented researchers joined the J-PAL network. We will feature a few of them here each month.

Muhammad Meki
University of Oxford

Hope Michelson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Matthias Sutter
University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck


Watch: What makes research in Egypt and Morocco unique?

J-PAL affiliated professor Adam Osman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Scientific Director, J-PAL Middle East and North Africa) reflects on J-PAL’s 20th anniversary and discusses the unique challenges of conducting research in the Middle East. He highlights J‑PAL MENA’s past achievements and future goals and celebrates their Egypt Impact Lab and Morocco Employment Lab for their pioneering efforts to work with government partners and generate rigorous evidence in the region. Watch the video »


Open enrollment and scholarships for the DEDP MicroMasters

🗓️ January 16

The MicroMasters Program in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy (DEDP) spring term starts on January 16, and registration is open until February 13. The online courses cover a range of topics, including microeconomics, randomized evaluations, data analysis, and development policy. Learners who complete the DEDP MicroMasters credential can apply for the on-campus Master’s in DEDP at MIT or one of our pathway universities

Thanks to the generous support of committed donors, we can offer MicroMasters course scholarships to learners in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more and enroll today »

Humanitarian professionals: Apply for Impact Evaluation Training

🗓️ Applications due: February 2

On March 11–14, J-PAL and Innovations for Poverty Action will host a free online training for humanitarian professionals. This training will consist of four half-day lectures and working sessions that explore each step in designing a randomized evaluation to rigorously measure the impact of humanitarian programs. The training will emphasize interventions aiming to improve protection in conflict settings and discuss the design, ethics, implementation, and randomization strategies suited for impact evaluations in humanitarian settings. Applications are due February 2. Learn more and apply »

Apply for the Humanitarian Action Research Incubator

🗓️ Applications due: February 21

On April 8–10, J-PAL and Innovations for Poverty Action will host a randomized evaluation design incubator in person in Bogotá, Colombia. The workshop will be tailored to organizations that promote sustainable livelihoods for displaced persons and host communities or aim to improve protection outcomes in conflict settings. Participants will develop a concept note for a randomized evaluation of one of their own programs, with the opportunity to establish the foundations for future collaboration with researchers. Applications are due February 21. Learn more and apply »


From gender inclusivity to climate change: Art exhibition explores ways to popularise policy discourse

The Universal Basic Income experiment in Kenya
Planet Money

Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo turn findings into fun – play, exhibition
The Print

Does “food as medicine” make a big dent in diabetes?
MIT News


Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the PROGRESA Experiment
Achyuta Adhvaryu, Teresa Molina, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Reduces Crime and Violence over Ten Years: Experimental Evidence
Christopher Blattman, Sebastian Chaskel, Julian C. Jamison, and Margaret Sheridan

The Welfare Benefits of Pay-As-You-Go Financing
Paul Gertler, Brett Green, Renping Li, and David Alexandre Sraer

Local Infrastructure and the Development of the Private Sector: Evidence from a Randomized Trial
Daniel Rogger, Leonardo Iacovone, Luis F. Sánchez-Bayardo, and Craig McIntosh