December 27, 2016



IPA's blog covers an interesting range of topics, and we're often surprised at which ones catch on with readers. Here are our 10 most popular of the year.

10: Could You Manage Your Finances Without a Bank Account?

One of this year's most popular blog posts is from 2012. Why might Americans choose to live without a bank account? Turns out there are a lot of good reasons.


9: #DevelopmentValentines

Every Feb 14th, the love on Development Twitter seems infectious. "Seems" of course because we'll have to wait for the public health people to confirm it. Here are some of the best Development Valentines from this year collected in one place.


8: Peru Education Policy Innovation Lab Wins Award

Marta Garnelo of IPA's Peru office describes the award-winning MineduLAB collaboration between academic researchers, government, and IPA to integrate testing new ideas in education into the policy process.


7: Text Message Support to Teachers in Kenya Improves Teaching, Learning and Keeps Children in School

Researcher Matthew Jukes of RTI explains the recent findings showing how simple text messages helped teachers helped teachers and students in Kenya.


6: New policy partnership in Colombia

IPA, J-PAL, and the Government of Colombia embark on a new venture with the government's own public policy evaluation body.


5: Beyond RCTs: How Rapid-Fire Testing Can Build Better Financial Products

Aaron Dibner-Dunlap of our Financial Inclusion program and Yumna Rathore of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, fresh off analyzing a million cell phone Pakistani cell phone responses, put together a primer on A-B, or rapid-fire, testing. They go over the pros, cons, and how they differ from traditional randomized controlled trials.


4: A guide to debunking debunking news stories

Following some less than stellar media reporting, we put together a guide for how to read media stories claiming to overturn a long-accepted scientific finding.


3: Everybody talks about big data – What about good data?

Once a paper is published, it’s impossible to tell how strong the data supporting it was, but for important public policy decisions need to be made on reliable data. A group of researchers got together to figure out how to improve data quality. 


2: IPA's Great Holiday Travel Podcast Playlist 2017 (and IPA Summer Podcast Playlist and The Great IPA Holiday Travel Playlist)

From time to time, we put together a list of favorite podcast episodes. Three of them were popular this year.


1: Why I Wrote a Book About My Failures

IPA founder Dean Karlan of Yale talks about his new book, Failing in the Field, chronicling many projects that have not gone as well as planned and why they failed. He talks about why it's important to discuss the projects that don't get completed and what we can learn from them.