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18 Apr


Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab

April 18, 2010 | By |

Translating Research Into Action

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is an international network of 44 affiliated professors using “Randomized Evaluations (REs) to answer questions critical to poverty alleviation. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence” through:

  • “Conducting Rigorous Impact Evaluations–  J-PAL researchers conduct randomized evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty. There are more than 174 evaluations that have been either completed or are ongoing.
  • Building Capacity–  J-PAL provides expertise to people interested in rigorous program evaluation, and training to others on how to conduct randomized evaluations.
  • Impacting Policy–  J-PAL’s policy group performs cost-effectiveness analysis to identify the most effective ways to achieve policy goals, disseminates this knowledge to policymakers, and works with governments, NGOs, foundations, and international development organizations to promote the scale-up of highly effective policies and programs around the world.”  (Quoted text is from the J-PAL website)

There’s a lot of interesting reading on their site, for anyone involved in action against poverty, whether with small- or large-scale organizations, and whether in your local community or internationally. 

J-Pal’s Esther Duflo, an economics professor at M.I.T., is one of the latest recipients of the MacArthur Genius Grant.  There’s a great article about her on the Global Envision website of Mercy Corps, which is worth a peek in its own right. 

As I’m always keeping an eye out for useful EWB “Member Learning” and discussion materials, I was sure to save the link to the presentation slides from Dr. Duflo’s Barcelona Economics Lecture on January 14, 2009, entitled “Fighting Poverty Effectively: Creating Experimentation in Development Economics.