News and Announcements

  • Dean Karlan in conversation with PBS Newshour

    Dec 18/14 | From the newsroom | 
    IPA Founder and President Dean Karlan, recently sat down with PBS NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman to talk about an economist's view of charity. They covered how to look at charitable donations like an investment portfolio, as well as particular organizations that Karlan recommends implement evidence-based programs. Read the full interview here.
  • Dean Karlan op-ed in LA Times: Why to ignore charity overheads

    Dec 18/14 | From the newsroom | 
    IPA Founder and President, Dean Karlan, has an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which he discusses his and student Elijah Goldberg's analysis of 55,000 charitable organizations tax returns. Despite prominence of high profile fraudulent charities in many minds ("availability bias" in scientific terms), they find high overhead expenses very rare, and discusses why donors should skip checking organizations' overheads in favor of more meaningful outcomes. Read the whole piece here.
  • Dean Karlan research on charitable giving in Wall Street Journal

    Dec 15/14 | From the newsroom | 
    IPA Founder and President Dean Karlan's research on charitable giving is featured in the Wall Street Journal. The article summarizes recent research in charitable giving, including Karlan's research with IPA affiliate John List, showing that a recognizable outside donor can increase others' giving. The piece also reviews his paper with IPA researcher Margaret McConnell, showing how social recognition can increase donations.


  • IPA Seeks IRB Chair

    Dec 05/14 | Announcement | 

    IPA’s growing research program is based on principles of international research ethics guidelines, to protect the dignity, rights and welfare of all participants. We are looking for an enthusiastic external Institutional Review Board (IRB) Chair with an interest in ethics, research and international development. He/She will lead IPA’s existing IRB and to help position IPA as a thought leader in conducting and promoting ethical research in the field of impact evaluation. The independent IPA IRB Chair is responsible for reviewing, in a timely and thorough manner, all research involving human participants. The IRB Chair works together with the IRB members and IPA’s Research Department to promote a culture of continuous learning for research ethics across IPA and its partners.

    • Preside over meetings of the fully convened IRB and ensure that the IRB carries out its duly authorized responsibilities as required by federal regulations, ethical principles, state laws and IPA IRB Guidelines.
    • Review and approve protocol submissions that qualify for expedited review pursuant to federal regulations, ethical principles, state laws and IPA policies, or delegate such authority to a qualified and experienced IRB member to conduct such review and approval.
    • Ensure that membership of the IRB is recruited, appointed and oriented such that the IRB is duly qualified to fulfill its obligations to review, require modifications to, approve (or disapprove) research protocols that represent the breadth of research submitted to the IRB by IPA researchers.
    • Serve as a liaison between the IRB and the IPA research team to promote communication and understanding of the concerns of the IRB, the research team and other IRB partners.
    • Ensure that reports related to safety, noncompliance, unanticipated problems in research and adverse events are reviewed, attended to and reported pursuant to federal regulations, state laws and IPA IRB Guidelines.
    • Respond to local and federal investigations relating to protocols and actions, as required.
    • Disseminate IPA Research Ethics learning at seminars, conferences, and peer-reviewed journals.
    • In conjunction with the IRB, IPA Research Team, and IPA Senior Management Team, develop IRB policies, procedures and guidelines to stay current with societal thinking, regulatory changes and national best practice standards.
    Please direct your interest by sending a cover letter and a CV to Dr. Thoai Ngo, Senior Director, Research & Knowledge Management at
    Download PDF annoucement here.

    1 This is not a full time position. Commitment is estimated at 5days/month.


  • IPA and J-PAL Paraguay event

    Dec 03/14 | From the newsroom | 

    Senior staff from IPA-Peru and J-PAL Latin America & Caribbean recently presented at an event in Asunción, Paraguay for practitioners and policy-makers. Paraguay's ABC, Hoy, and Viva Paraguay discussed the event, which covered both “how-to” for evidence-based policy making, and results from recent randomized evaluations in the region. More on the event can be found here.
  • Dean Karlan and four IPA evaluations in The New York Times

    Dec 01/14 | From the newsroom | 
    David Bornstein, writing in the New York Times Fixes column, discusess the kind of savings groups which IPA is evaluating in several African countries. These groups, called Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) are run by the participants who save together, and can be alternatives to microcredit. They have the advantage of allowing individuals to save up for expenses in advance, rather than take out high interest loans when those expenses come up, and don't require banks or other third party lender involvment. As IPA founder Dean Karlan says in the piece:
    “What makes this nice as an intervention is that it needs no financial infrastructure to make it work,” explained Dean Karlan, a professor of economics at Yale University and president of Innovations for Poverty Action (I.P.A.), which conducted a three-year randomized controlled evaluation of the Saving for Change program in Mali, and CARE’s V.S.L.A. program in Ghana, Uganda and Malawi. “It needs no bricks and mortar. You just demonstrate it, walk people through it, and they can keep doing it.”
    The full piece is available here.
  • Financial Inclusion in Malawi BNL Times

    Nov 24/14 | From the newsroom | 
    Malawi's BNL Times, covers IPA & The Bankers Association of Malawi's conference Achieving Better Banking in Malawi. As the articles describes:
    The conference was a partnership between IPA and Bam and brought together practitioners and policy makers to discuss empirical evidence on financial inclusion from randomized evaluations conducted by IPA and its partners in Malawi and other countries.
    Munthali said the research findings points to a need to dig deeper to find out what works when designing financial inclusion programmes.
    “The question remains as to whether the many activities outlined in the financial inclusion strategy will be effective at delivering the desired outcomes, particularly around savings behavior,” said Munthali.
    The full article is available here.
  • IPA-Malawi Director on financial inclusion

    Nov 19/14 | From the newsroom | 
    IPA-Malawi’s Country Director Thomas Munthali writes in The Nation about financial inclusion in the country. He cites research showing 46 percent exclusion rates, with 80 percent of Malawians unaware of mobile money options. The upcoming IPA & Bankers Association of Malawi conference Achieving Better Banking in Malawi will bring researchers from around the world to Lilongwe to discuss the latest findings from randomized evaluations in financial inclusion. Read the full piece here.
  • Fox News on IPA's malaria medication reminder study

    Nov 03/14 | From the newsroom | 

    Fox News reported on IPA's study using text messages to remind patients to take their medication. You can find the story here (note the country in which the study took place is Ghana, not Guinea). More information on the study is here, with a follow-up blog post reporting on qualitative findings here.

  • Quartz on predicting outbreaks of violence research

    Oct 30/14 | From the newsroom | 
    The news site covered Chris Blattman’s research with IPA in Liberia. Researchers were able to predict outbreaks of future violence in the country with a small set of variables. You can read the full piece, This statistical model can predict outbreaks of violence in Liberia here.
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