November 14, 2022

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is thrilled to announce a gift of $8 million in unrestricted support from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Ms. Scott announced her donation on Medium today as part of almost $1 billion in gifts to 343 organizations that she states are “supporting the voices and opportunities of people from underserved communities.”

IPA will use Ms. Scott’s investment to further its mission of discovering and promoting effective solutions to global poverty problems. Guided by its Strategic Ambition, IPA works with partners to generate and use rigorous research and data-backed evidence about what works and what does not in the fight against global poverty to equip decision-makers to design and implement more effective programs.

“MacKenzie Scott’s support is an important vote of confidence in our work, our people, our evidence-based approach to improving the lives of people living in poverty, and in the impact we have achieved together with our many partners around the world,” said Annie Duflo, IPA’s executive director. “We are grateful, honored, and humbled. Her donation will enable IPA to deepen our impact by guiding more decision-makers toward effective programs and policies and the use of data and evidence. This investment will also allow us to strengthen the organization and continue the expansion of our network of researchers in lower- and middle- income countries where we work. IPA would also like to congratulate the other recipients, several that believe in and focus on using evidence to create impact.” 

The donation from Ms. Scott arrives almost 20 years to the day IPA was founded. In that time, the organization has worked with a network of researchers and partners to conduct over 950 evaluations in 51 countries to discover what works and what doesn’t in reducing poverty and improving lives. IPA’s presence in 20 countries has allowed it to build long-lasting relationships with local decision-makers to co-create evidence that is locally relevant to policymakers and other decision-makers and help build cultures of using data and evidence. Some of the most important work IPA contributed to includes groundbreaking research on the use of chlorine dispensers for safe water, the importance of free anti-malaria bednets, the long-lasting impact of school-based deworming, and the effectiveness of unconditional cash transfers. Randomized evaluations bring rigor to development and provide powerful evidence to decision-makers, and this research has informed programs and policies that have impacted millions of people. 

The $8 million commitment from Ms. Scott will enhance the work of IPA’s research and policy staff of over 1,000 people working across 20 countries to conduct randomized and other evaluations, share results and provide advisory services to equip decision-makers with locally relevant evidence about what works, and what doesn’t, in the fight against global poverty. 

Dean Karlan, founder of IPA and the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance at Northwestern University said, “I am delighted that MacKenzie Scott shares IPA’s passion for using evidence and data to fight societal problems today and in the future. It is easy to feel compassion and take action for people today, but fighting ‘tomorrow’s problem’ gets less attention and thus is underfunded. Forward-thinking philanthropists like Scott can make huge inroads investing in the science of doing good, and we are thrilled to be amongst the groups pursuing that path that she has supported.”

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Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that creates and shares evidence and equips decision-makers to use that evidence to reduce poverty. For 20 years, IPA has led the field of development in cutting-edge research quality, innovation, and impact. Our long-term presence in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean has enabled us to build long-term relationships with key decision-makers whose questions and needs drive our research. To learn more, visit www.poverty-action.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Sarah de Tournemire, Chief Partnerships & Philanthropy Officer, Innovations for Poverty Action
Email: sdetournemire@poverty-action.org
Phone: +1 718 619 6144

David Berry, Senior Director Global Communications, Innovations for Poverty Action
Email: dberry@poverty-action.org
Phone: +1 646 247 8360