In June, our Kenya team signed an MOU with the Kenyan government Vision 2030 program to collaborate on research outreach and public policy forums, particularly on themes related to the Sustainable Development Goals.
August 10, 2016
Rural demand for electricity connections is significantly lower than the Kenyan government predicted, even when connection costs are highly subsidised, according to economists at the University of California, Berkeley.
March 01, 2016
The New York Times Fixes column says "Ideas Help No One on a Shelf. Take Them to the World." It looks at what happened to IPA's RCT on HIV prevention for adolescent girls when it was scaled up by the non-profit Young1ove. Click below to read the story.
February 03, 2016
The multi-billion youth programmes by the government and the private sector have had little impact on growing their income, economic researchers argued yesterday. The projects, whose roll out started in earnest in the last decade, have nonetheless improved their welfare through increased wages and new enterprises, the researchers said. The implementation, they added, should be backed by research evidence to create sustainable job opportunities.
September 30, 2015
Charles Kenny reviews the research on cash transfers for helping the poor in The Atlantic, including IPA's work in Kenya and Uganda.
September 15, 2015
The World Bank recently announced that between May 2014 and May 2015, Kenya’s national energy utility formally connected 150,000 households in urban slums to the electricity grid, up from just 5,000 previously. This massive jump was largely achieved by subsidising families’ grid connections (connection fees alone are US$400), an approach the NGO Innovations for Poverty Action is now trialling in rural parts of western Kenya.
August 17, 2015
IPA researchers Ted Miguel, Kenneth Lee, and Catherine Wolfram, with IPA-Kenya's Francis Meyo have an op-ed in Reuters about President Obama's plan to power Africa. Using findings from IPA's Rural Electric Power Project in Kenya they point out that the vast majority of Kenayans are close to an existing power grid, and what's needed is connections to the grid, not small solar generation.
July 23, 2015
On the ocassion of President Obama's trip to Kenya, NPR speaks with IPA researcher Ted Miguel about our project on providing electriciy to rural areas there, and why the results cast doubt on current policy plans.
June 04, 2015
Longer-term research into anti-poverty interventions is rare, but it exists for cash transfers. A 2013 study in Uganda found that people who received cash enjoyed a 49 percent earnings boost after two years, and a 41 percent increase after four years, compared to people who hadn't gotten a transfer. Another study in Sri Lanka found rates of return averaging 80 percent after five years. In Uganda, not only were the cash recipients better off, but their number of hours worked and labor productivity actually increased.
March 23, 2015
By Konstantin Peric & Jake Kendall
Editors Note: Our partner, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has asked us to share this announcement with the financial inclusion community.
Pascaline Dupas, Sarah Green, Anthony Keats, Jonathan Robinson
March 02, 2015
Until recently, the drive towards financial inclusion was commonly framed in terms of access. Yet as the explosion of digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures have begun to make financial services accessible to the poor, it has become apparent that access is only part of the equation. Despite these innovations, account ownership and usage has remained stubbornly low in much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lasse Brune, Xavier Giné, Jessica Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Robert Osei, Isaac Osei-akoto, Simone Schaner, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry, Dean Yang
December 23, 2014
December 18, 2014
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.
Nava Ashraf, Lori Beaman, Ariel BenYishay, Pascaline Dupas, Paul Fatch, Xavier Giné, Alaka Holla, Dean Karlan, Jeanne Lafortune, Jeremy Magruder, Margaret McConnell, Mushfiq Mobarak, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jonathan Robinson, Renos Vakis, Wesley Yin, Jonathan Zinman
December 10, 2014
Development policy should be redesigned to reflect new insights about human behavior, according to a new World Bank report. The report calls on the development community to shift its agenda based on new insights in behavioral economics, and supports this proposal with findings from numerous IPA evaluations, including our work on commitment devices, reminders, and peer networks.
October 01, 2014
Gawker's Hamilton Nolan writes "Poor people do not just blow any money they get." He reviews IPA's evaluation of GiveDirectly (here, and more description here), finding that poor Kenyans used unconditional cash transfers effectively, rather than on temptation goods like alchohol.