News and Announcements

  • IPA Research Affiliates Named to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Boards

    Sep 13/12 | From the newsroom | 
    IPA Research Affiliates Antoinette Schoar, Jonathan Zinman and Justine Hastings were appointed today to two newly-formed formed Advisory Boards of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Professors Schoar and Hastings will serve on the agency’s Academic Research Council, a consultative body comprised of scholars with relevant subject matter expertise. The council advises the CFPB on methodologies, data collection, and analytic strategies, and provides feedback regarding the Bureau’s research and strategic planning process.  Antoinette Schoar is the Michael M. Koerner (1949) Professor of Entrepreneurship and a Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and directs research within IPA's Small and Medium Enterprise InitiativeJustine Hastings of Brown University has projects with IPA focusing on financial literacy and determinants of savings in Chile, Mexico, and the Philippines.
    Jonathan Zinman was appointed to the Consumer Advisory Board, where he will provide advice to CFPB leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends. “This group of experts truly represents the interests of the diverse people and communities we serve,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Consumer Advisory Board will be a key resource to the CFPB and I look forward to working with its members to further our mission to protect American consumers.”
    Jonathan Zinman is an Associate Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and a Research Affiliate at Innovations for Poverty Action where he directs IPA’s research on consumer finance in the United States under the U.S. Household Finance Initiative.  
    Two U.S. Household Finance Initiative research partners were also appointed to CFPB advisory boards yesterday. Patricia Hasson of Clarifi, a Philadelphia-based consumer credit counseling agency, also joined the Consumer Advisory Board. Carla Decker, President of District Government Employees Federal Credit Union, was appointed to the agency’s Credit Union Advisory Council, which will advise generally on the Bureau’s regulation of consumer financial products or services.
    All told, the newly appointed board members include experts in consumer protection, financial services, community development, fair lending, civil rights, and consumer financial products or services. They also represent financial institutions that primarily serve underserved communities, and communities that have been significantly impacted by higher-priced mortgage loans.
  • Some highlights from the IPA Impact and Policy Conference + is proof of concept policy relevant?

    David McKenzie highlights work from the IPA Impact and Policy conference, including a presentation by Daniel Paravisini on his work on credit scoring, and makes the case that proof of concept studies are policy relevant. #ImpactandPolicyConf

  • Interview with Lucia Sanchez – Director of SME Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action

    Lucia Sanchez discusses the main knowledge gaps when it comes to SMEs, as well as the role of the SME Initiative in addressing those gaps through supporting rigorous research and knowledge dissemination.

  • One of the Best Investments We Can Make

    The final blog post in the series for the Young Global Leader's DtW Bihar fundraising campaign is from Alissa Fishbane, Managing Director of DtW.  This post makes the case for considering the rate of return on charitable investments in the...

  • This Week - Global Experts Meet in Bangkok

    Aug 28/12 | Announcement | 


    Innovations for Poverty Action
    Asian Development BankJ-PAL
    For Immediate Release
    Bangkok, August 28, 2012 – More than 250 researchers, policymakers and development practitioners will converge in Bangkok from August 30th - September 1st to share evidence and ideas about what works to combat global poverty.  For three days, experts will present results from new studies, sharing them with government officials, other researchers, and NGO leaders. The Impact and Policy Conference: Evidence in Governance, Financial Inclusion, and Entrepreneurship is unique because it not only presents evidence about successes and challenges, but also pairs up researchers with policymakers and organizations that address poverty to develop new ideas and provides funding to the most promising ones.
    Speakers will include distinguished government officials, such as S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, and Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process in the Philippines, as well as researchers from Harvard Business School, Yale University, and other leading organizations. They will address topics ranging from the role of finance, markets, and human capital in fostering entrepreneurship and development; how technology and innovative product design can improve access to financial services; why aid money can fail to make it to the poor; and how publicizing independent audits of elected officials can change election outcomes.
    Betty Wilkinson, Lead Financial Sector Specialist of conference host Asian Development Bank said “Financial inclusion, small business development, and good governance are critical for inclusive growth. When rigorous evaluations show us what works, policymakers have evidence they can use in their efforts to reduce poverty.”  Annie Duflo, the Executive Director of Innovations for Poverty Action, one of the conference co-organizers, said “We’re very excited to bring top researchers together with those who have on-the-ground knowledge from countries around the world and fund them to test new ideas together.”  Pam Flaherty, President & CEO of the Citi Foundation, which is funding research partnerships in the area of financial capability, said “We are pleased to join many of our partners at the Impact and Policy Conference that are working with us to surface, test, and evaluate innovative approaches to build financial capability and promote positive financial behaviors.”

    The Impact and Policy Conference: Evidence in Governance, Financial Inclusion, and Entrepreneurship will take place at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand from August 30-September 1, 2012, and is jointly sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, Innovations for Poverty Action, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Citi Foundation.

    Additional information, including the full agenda, can be found at

    Follow the conference on Twitter at #PolicyImpact

    About Innovations for Poverty Action:

    Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor. Established in 2002, IPA designs and evaluates programs in real contexts with real people, and provides hands-on assistance to bring successful programs to scale. IPA partners with researchers in top universities and implementing organizations around the world to ensure that poverty-fighting activities are supported by the utmost methodological rigor. IPA shares the evidence generated with development practitioners, policymakers and donors, and provides technical assistance and support to governments and non-governmental actors to implement successful programs and bring them to scale around the world. IPA has ongoing research operations in 48 countries across Africa; North and South America; and South and South East Asia. Additional information can be found at
    About the Asian Development Bank:
    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region. In 2011, ADB approvals including cofinancing totaled $21.7 billion.
    About the Citi Foundation:
    The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, College Success, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance, Enterprise Development, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at
    About the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab:
    The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a center within the Economics Department at MIT, with a South Asia regional office at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), Chennai and in Delhi. J-PAL's mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence. J-PAL works to achieve this by conducting rigorous impact evaluations, building capacity, and informing policy.
    For More Information, Contact
    Jeffrey Mosenkis, Innovations for Poverty Action +1-203-772-2216 x240 or here.
  • Annie Duflo Quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek

    Aug 15/12 | From the newsroom | 
  • DtW and World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders Launch Bihar Fundraising Campaign

    The World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders are featuring DtW for their first fundraising campaign. We are partnering to transform the lives of 17 million children in Bihar, India. Read YGL...

  • Measuring Entrepreneurship

    A two-part blog post covering various studies aimed at measuring entrepreneurship in developing countries. Read Part I and Part II

  • IPA and the Citi Foundation Launch Fund to Create Evidence on Financial Capability

    Jun 19/12 | Announcement | 

    Innovations for Poverty Action and the Citi Foundation announced today the creation of the Citi - IPA Financial Capability Research Fund. The $3.4 million program focusing on emerging economies seeks to incubate, develop, and rigorously study products and product-linked interventions to improve the poor’s financial capability.

    The Citi-IPA Financial Capability Research Fund is supported by the Citi Foundation and will administer a competitive project solicitation process inviting expressions of interest from teams of practitioners and researchers seeking to test products and interventions aimed at improving the behavior of users of financial services.

    Click here to read the full press release.

  • SME Initiative Announces New RFP

    Jun 13/12 | From the newsroom | 

    We are pleased to announce our FOURTH ROUND of Research Funding for Entrepreneurship and SME Growth. The goal of the fund is to support innovative research to build a systemic body of evidence on the contribution of SMEs and entrepreneurship to poverty alleviation and economic development. We hope this competition will have a catalyzing effect to stimulate high quality research on the role of access to finance, human capital, and markets for SME growth and their contribution to development. Please see the Competitive Fund page for more information. 

    Complete proposals should be emailed to by 5:00pm EST on September 28, 2012.  If you have any questions, please contact Eleanor Coates (

    See: Request for Proposals, Proposal Template, Budgeting Guidelines

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