July 2022 Newsletter

People refer to various charts on a laptop during a meeting.
Photo: freedomz | Shutterstock

From data to survey instruments: How to find what you need in the J-PAL Dataverse

Data publication is critical for advancing open and transparent research practices. In recognition of this we established the J-PAL Dataverse in 2008, which features datasets from randomized evaluations led by J-PAL affiliated professors. Since 2018, these datasets have been downloaded over 10,000 times for purposes ranging from classroom exercises to original research and replication. A new J-PAL blog post provides a user-friendly guide to accessing the Dataverse and highlights examples of how students, researchers, teachers, and others can use this data. Read more >>

The impact of women’s help desks in police stations in India

Gender-targeted police reforms are commonly introduced to address rising levels of gender-based violence (GBV) by reducing barriers to reporting, such as stigma and low trust in police. In a new paper published this month in Science, J-PAL affiliated professor Sandip Sukhtankar (University of Virginia) and coauthors share results from a J-PAL-funded study evaluating the impact of women’s help desks in police stations and training for officers throughout the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. 

They found that officers in stations with help desks were more likely to register cases of GBV, particularly when female officers were assigned to run the help desks. Researchers are now working with the Madhya Pradesh Police to evaluate a scale-up of the program to 700 police stations across the state with support from J‑PAL’s Innovation in Government Initiative. Read a summary of the new paper in Science and watch our video Q&A with Sandip discussing the results and policy implications » 

Lessons from implementing a math achievement program in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Education Department, in cooperation with the University of Puerto Rico and J‑PAL North America, is evaluating the impact of a program that uses computer-assisted learning tools to support math teachers. The team has navigated unexpected technological hurdles, brainstormed solutions to low participation rates, and worked through major setbacks like natural disasters and Covid-19. In an interview on the J-PAL blog, members of the research team discuss the project implementation process and lessons learned so far. Read more »

New partnership to promote evidence-informed policymaking in the Middle East and North Africa 

Last month, J-PAL Middle East and North Africa, Community Jameel, and the Islamic Development Bank announced a new partnership to support governments in designing evidence-informed social programs. The partnership will focus on embedding policy labs within governments to help generate rigorous research to inform policy design. Read more »

Featured affiliate professor

Sandip Sukhtankar on public service delivery and governance

In our newest Affiliate Spotlight, Sandip Sukhtankar (University of Virginia) discusses his research on political economy, social protection, and governance issues in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Sandip also shares his motivation to study development economics and advice for students aspiring to start a career in the field. Read more »


Preparing data for publication

Increasing the availability of research data benefits researchers, policy partners, and students. This research resource provides guidance on cleaning and preparing data for publication, sample informed consent language, and other considerations during project planning and before publication. The resource also describes trusted digital repositories that can host data, including the J-PAL Dataverse. Read more »


In summer 2021, 38 talented researchers joined the J-PAL network. We will feature a few of them here each month.

Raquel Bernal
Universidad de los Andes 

Simon Franklin
Queen Mary University of London

Katrina Jessoe
University of California, Davis 


[Seminar recap] Early Childhood Development: Guiding Investments in Long-Term Human Capital Development in Egypt

J-PAL Middle East and North Africa at the American University in Cairo co-hosted a seminar with UNICEF Egypt on May 19 featuring J-PAL affiliated professor Karen Macours (Paris School of Economics; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Health sector) and representatives from the Egyptian government and UNICEF. The seminar focused on how Egypt can enhance healthy caregiver and community practices to encourage early childhood development and promote socioeconomic growth. Read more »

[Webinar recap] From Research to Action: Collaboration between Policymakers and Academics 

The use of evidence and data for policymaking has started to gain traction in Indonesia, with a growing number of researchers working extensively with policymakers to meet the demand for evidence. From May to June, J-PAL Southeast Asia organized a two-part webinar series to discuss the importance of researchers and policymakers bridging different approaches and priorities to create meaningful partnerships. Read more about the first and second webinars » 


Covid learning loss has been a global disaster
The Economist

This company knows how to improve students’ test scores [Opinion]
New York Times 

Why Saudi, Arab Gulf charities are taking a strategic approach to philanthropy
Arab News

A study gave cash and therapy to men at risk of criminal behavior. 10 years later, the results are in.

One doctor’s quest to demolish health care’s racist barriers
Daily Beast


Do Private Providers Give Patients What They Demand, Even if It is Inappropriate? A Randomised Study Using Unannounced Standardised Patients in Kenya
Ada Kwan, Claire E. Boone, Giorgia Sulis, Paul J. Gertler

Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance in India
Karthik Muralidharan, Abhijeet Singh

Policing in Patriarchy: An Experimental Evaluation of Reforms to Improve Police Responsiveness to Women in India
Sandip Sukhtankar, Gabriele Kruks-Wisner, Akshay Mangla