An estimated 70 percent of the world's poor rely on agriculture for all or some of their household income. Farmers face a number of risks to their livelihoods, including unpredictable weather and crop price variation. These risks may also affect how they choose to borrow and invest to improve their business. The IPA projects in this sector seek to find out how we can help poor farmers in the developing world increase productivity and deal with the risks inherent in farming.

In order for non-profits to make a difference, they must secure continued support from donors.  This means that, in addition to providing services, most non-profits must dedicate time to fundraising.  The IPA projects in this sector are increasing our understanding of what prompts donors to give, and why they may choose one cause over another.

School enrollment has been steadily increasing around the world in the past decade, but there remains much to be done to improve children’s access to quality education.  The IPA projects in this sector seek to understand what works and what doesn't to increase school attendance, educational quality, and achievement in the developing world.

The world’s poor disproportionately suffer from ill health, which in turn makes adults less able to work and children less able to go to school. Unexpected health expenses can devastate a poor family’s fragile household budget. Improving the health of the poor will allow more people to create and seize opportunities to live a better life. The IPA projects in this sector are helping us find out what interventions are the most effective in changing health outcomes to improve the lives of the poor.

Rapid growth in microfinance over the last three decades has provided over 130 million of the world's poor with access to microcredit and savings services, but for many of the world’s poor, these services remain out of reach.  The IPA projects in this sector seek to answer the questions: What is the impact of microcredit, microsavings, and microinsurance? How can we help facilitate access to credit and savings services? How can microfinance reach the ultra-poor?

The poor are often marginalized from the decision-making processes that can greatly affect their daily lives. They may be isolated because of past conflicts or longstanding government structures that systematically leave out the poor. The IPA projects in this sector hope to discover the best ways to empower the poor to fully participate in community and political life.

Two million children die of diarrheal disease each year, mostly as the result of drinking contaminated water. Though health experts worldwide know a lot about treating diarrheal disease, we understand a great deal less about the relative impacts and cost-effectiveness of preventing diarrhea and other water-borne illnesses through health interventions or sanitation projects.

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