From 10—14 July, IPA together with J-PAL Africa, held a five-day training course on evaluating social programs aimed at providing a thorough understanding of randomized evaluations and pragmatic step-by-step training for conducting one’s own evaluation. Some of the topics covered included benefits and methods of randomization, choosing an appropriate sample size, and com- mon threats and pitfalls to the validity of experiments.
Appropriate consumer protection is becoming ever more central to ensuring the financial wellbeing of the poor. Ensuring that consumers are able to select and use financial products to their best advantage is a key component of financial inclusion. Without a robust consumer protection framework, even the most educated and capable consumer is likely to have difficulty making prudent financial choices. It is vital that policies aiming to protect consumers account for lessons from behavioral economics and be subject to testing before they are nationally scaled.
On January 26-28, 2017, IPA Kenya and The Permanent Working Group (PWG) on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) held a National TVET Conference and Skills Show at the Kenyatta International Conference Center, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Permanent Working Group on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is a platform of engagement that was created to incorporate government, the private sector, academia, NGOs, and development partners to jointly oversee the efforts of the sustainable transformation of Kenya’s vocational training system.
On December 1, 2016, IPA Kenya and the Vision 2030 Secretariat hosted a Policy Forum at the Windsor Hotel and Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the forum was “Better Evidence, Better Policies, Better Lives: 10 Years of Research in the Agricultural Sector.” The forum brought together 60 researchers, policymakers, and implementing partners. This event was one of several policy engagements that IPA Kenya and the Vision 2030 Secretariat have held over the years, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations.
On November 23, 2016, IPA Kenya participated in a stakeholders meeting for the WASH Benefits Project. IPA Kenya was represented by Suleiman Asman (Country Director), Ryan Mahoney, Betty Ojeny, John Mboya, Jared Otuke, and others. The event was attended by several stakeholders in the WASH sector, including the Director of Public Health and Sanitation, officials from county governments, KEMRI, Afya-plus, and the Safe Water and AIDS Project.
Innovations for Poverty Action organized a Stakeholders’ forum focusing on sharing learnings from the Soapy Water Handwashing Stations pilot study. The forum was organized within IPA’s strategic objective to organically inform policy and programming with rigorous research findings.
How can we use evidence more effectively to inform and improve government policies and programs?
IPA Kenya attended the Development Impact Evaluation division (DIME)’s forum on Using Evidence to Improve Policy and Program Designs in Nairobi, and presented IPA evaluations in the energy and sanitation sectors that focused on maximizing large-scale infrastructure investments.
Despite the global progress made in reducing the number of people living in poverty, more than 1.3 billion people around the world still live in extreme poverty. According to the World Bank’s Global Monitoring Report, extreme poverty rates have actually increased in Sub-Saharan Africa. The percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day in sub-Saharan Africa (41%) is more than twice as high as any other region (such as Southern Asia, with 17%) and the region continues to lag behind in meeting the global commitment on poverty reduction.
Both Innovations for Poverty Action and CEGA aim to support high quality, transparent, reproducible research. The research support staff at both organizations are typically tasked with preparing data and code for publication. However, key steps for preparing data and code take place as early as the study design phase as well as in the data collection process.
We have several objectives for this workshop:
On March 1st, IPA and PATH organized a Handwashing Innovation Summit bringing together two dozen participants including representatives of many organizations working on handwashing technologies such as the Water and Sanitation Project, Safe Water and Aids project, Kenya Water for Health organization and PATH. The discussion focused on existing evidence on waste water collection and use of hand sanitizer as opposed to soap and water. There was interest to develop good engagement structures with the county and national governments in order to scale up proved handwashing technologies.
On February 2, IPA Kenya and The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat organized a policy forum that brought together researchers, policymakers, and implementing partners to discuss what works in improving youth employment and entrepreneurship. The event highlighted recent research in Kenya aimed at improving youth and women’s employment through training programs, startup capital, and cash grants.
There is building momentum for evidence-based planning, implementation, and decision making in government. Nowhere is the need greater than in Kenya’s education sector.
Innovations for Poverty Action organized a Policy Forum focusing on sharing learnings on water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in Kenya. The forum was organized within the framework of the Ministry of Health strategies to organically inform policy and decision makers with research findings.
FSD Kenya was proud to host the inaugural FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion. On Tuesday November 17th from 6pm to 7pm there was a presentation by Dr Tavneet Suri, a Kenyan development economist and associate professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. The lecture was based on Dr Suri's research into the usage and impact of M-Pesa and other financial instruments in Kenya.