July 2023 J-PAL LAC Quarterly Newsletter

Participants of the first Government Partnership training in Brazil during their last class
Photo credit: J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean

Government partnerships for meaningful change in Brazil and Mexico

J-PAL LAC recently concluded a series of introductory training sessions, as part of the Government Partnerships Expansion in Brazil and Mexico. To help bolster state capacity, the project is actively engaging government institutions at multiple levels through a clear and adaptable pathway that nurtures promising evidence-to-policy partnerships, with an emphasis on gender and racial equality, and that leverages existing collaborations for greater impact. 

More than 100 public officials from around sixty government organizations participated in two informative webinars. Furthermore, almost 150 officials from thirty organizations participated in trainings to understand the relevance of evidence use and evaluation in policy making. Participants described the trainings as an "enriching experience that opened up possibilities to learn and rethink decision-making." 

As of now, J-PAL staff are holding one-on-one meetings with public institutions and matching them with J-PAL affiliated researchers to build new partnerships. Explore how this work is making a tangible difference through meaningful collaborations with governments »


Translating educational research results into concrete policies in Chile

On June 7, J-PAL affiliated professor Philip Oreopoulos (University of Toronto; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Education sector) shared key lessons on tutoring to promote evidence-based decision-making in Chile. During the event, which was hosted by the Chilean Ministry of Education, he shared evidence to inform the tutoring program that the Ministry is implementing nationwide with 20,000 volunteers. Learn more about the transformative power of tutoring »


Supporting Peru’s environmental agency to become better producers and users of evidence

Peru’s Agency for Environmental Enforcement (OEFA), Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA), and J-PAL LAC organized an in-person incubator course to strengthen OEFA staff’s technical capabilities to generate and use evidence and to identify environmental inspection research opportunities. Johnny Marchán (President of the Board of Directors, OEFA), Paula Pedro (Executive Director, J-PAL LAC), and Barbara Sparrow (Deputy Country Director in Peru and Paraguay, IPA) presented the work of each organization and welcomed the participants at the opening session. This event is part of J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI)'s effort to incubate impact evaluations of innovative environmental enforcement programs in Latin America. Learn more about K-CAI »


Promoting women's agency in Central America 

In May, as part of the Capacity Building and Outreach for Gender Agency in Central America project, J-PAL LAC delivered a four-day course on introductory tools for conducting randomized evaluations, identifying evaluation opportunities, and applying relevant evidence to organizations' work. Additionally, together with J-PAL’s Gender and Economic Agency Initiative, we held a webinar to discuss the relevance of evidence in designing policies and to share lessons on effective ways to promote women's agency. Watch the webinar (in Spanish) »

Gender lens workshop with (future) economists

On June 3, we offered a workshop on how to apply a gender lens to social programs and evaluations. The workshop was part of Ecomienza, a mentoring and capacity-building program for future economists in Latin America organized by EconThaki, a Peruvian organization that promotes diversity in economics in LAC, and BOWEN, a Bolivian organization that encourages the participation of women economists in academia. This is the second year of J-PAL LAC’s collaboration with Ecomienza and is part of our effort to increase diversity and inclusion in economics and policymaking in LAC. Read more about Ecomienza »

gLOCAL in Brazil: Integrating gender to evaluation

During gLOCAL's Evaluation Week, J-PAL LAC partnered with ONU Mulheres, UN Women's branch in Brazil, to offer a panel about gender inclusion in monitoring and evaluation. Paula Pedro (Executive Director, J-PAL LAC), moderated the event, in which staff from UN Women and J-PAL LAC presented two tools for program monitoring and evaluation—the first was UN Women's Rapid Assessment Tool for Gender Equality in Humanitarian Settings and the second was J-PAL's Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations. Check out the video of the event »


Improving early child development at scale through technology in LAC

Persistent and substantial ability gaps across children from various socioeconomic backgrounds emerge in the early stages of infant development. On the J-PAL blog, J-PAL invited researcher Ana Balsa (Universidad de Montevideo), Juanita Bloomfield (Faculty of Business and Economics at Universidad de Montevideo), and Alejandro Cid (Faculty of Business and Economics at Universidad de Montevideo) share examples from their research on how technology can be scaled to help caregivers overcome barriers that preclude good parental investments in children. Read the blog post »


JOI Brazil’s workshops: Equipping industry and government actors to use evidence in decision-making

J-PAL’s Jobs and Opportunity Initiative (JOI) Brazil recently held specialized workshops for government officials and industry actors. The workshops combined online sessions with in-person events and delved into evaluation types, constructing theories of change, and designing randomized impact evaluations. Participants from both sectors received specialized training, expert feedback, and gained access to tools to harness data to understand more about their projects' impact. Learn more about how JOI Brazil helps organizations develop theories of change and program evaluations »

Tackling Brazil's labor market challenges with evidence: JOI Brazil's research agenda

In one of our latest blog posts, we present JOI Brazil's research agenda. Currently, it focuses on job training, job creation, the future of jobs, and the social issues affecting labor markets, with the goals of informing policy and promoting quality employment with an evidence-based approach. Learn more about the initiative and join us in contributing to sustainable solutions for Brazil’s labor market »


[Aug 8–Dec 1] Enroll for the Diploma in Impact Evaluation of Public Policy and Social Programs

The Diploma is a collaborative effort between the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) and J-PAL LAC. Students in this program will get the necessary tools to design and understand the results of rigorous program evaluations. It consists of three courses: Impact Evaluation Methods, Evidence and Policy, and Implementation of an Impact Evaluation. In addition, students will have the opportunity to make an impact evaluation proposal for a program of their choice. The program is taught in Spanish by J-PAL affiliated professors and academics at UC. Registration closes when the maximum number of places is reached. Enroll now »


[Event recap] gLOCAL: Sharing free monitoring and evaluation tools

On June 2, we partnered with Centro de Políticas Públicas UC and Fundación San Carlos de Maipo to participate in the gLOCAL Evaluation Week. We held a webinar where we highlighted the need to use evidence for the design of social programs, as well as to monitor and evaluate them. From their particular field, each organization shared insight on the use of free monitoring and evaluation tools. Check out the video of the event »

[Event recap] Conversations with students on how to improve lives through economics

J-PAL LAC Co-Scientific Directors Claudio Ferraz (UBC, PUC-Río) and Francisco Gallego (UC Chile), together with Paula Pedro (Executive Director, J-PAL LAC) and J-PAL invited researchers Josefa Aguirre (UC Chile) and Pablo Celhay (UC Chile) shared their experiences and discussed the role of economics in poverty alleviation with students. Discover how research can drive action towards more effective policies and programs to help improve lives. Learn more » 

[Event recap] Roundtable with academics and civil society: What does the evidence say about political participation?

J-PAL LAC and Centro de Políticas Públicas UC co-hosted a round table with academics and NGOs whose work focuses on politics and civic involvement. J-PAL affiliated professor Claudio Ferraz (UBC, PUC-Río; Co-Scientific Director, J-PAL LAC) shared international evidence on citizen participation in politics, discussed the roles of citizen involvement, and addressed the attendees’ questions.


An online program to fight gender violence in Peru—from a tripartite collaboration between the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Innovations for Poverty Action Peru, and J-PAL LAC—was highlighted by El Periódico de España. Read more (in Spanish) »

J-PAL LAC announced its partnership with Universidad del Valle de Guatemala to promote evidence-informed decision-making in Guatemala. Read more in English or Spanish »