In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the transition from primary school to high school is costly for students and their parents even when tuition costs are low. In Kenya, researchers partnered with a telecom operator to evaluate the impact of a commitment savings account, called the “High Hopes” Lock-Savings Account, on account usage, savings and loans, and school enrollment.

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Providing better information to farmers about local agricultural conditions could enable them to make more informed and locally appropriate agricultural decisions, with potentially positive consequences for their income, food production, and the environment. This study in Western Kenya will test for failures in the market for local agricultural information and measure the impact of disseminating local information on farmers’ decisions to invest in agricultural inputs.

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It is often argued that free or highly subsidized distribution of preventative health technologies, such as vaccines, insecticide-treated materials, vitamin supplementation, or point-of-use chlorination of drinking water, may generate an “entitlement” effect, whereby beneficiaries anchor around the subsidized price and refuse to pay for the product once the subsidies are lifted. This evaluation tested whether being exposed to a large or full subsidy dampens or enhances willingness to pay for

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Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by a fungus that grows on certain crops, such as maize and groundnuts. Consumption of high levels of aflatoxin can be fatal, and chronic exposure has been linked to liver cancer, suppressed immune response, and child stunting.

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Farmers in western Kenya have limited knowledge of farm inputs suitable for the agro-ecological conditions they face, and use of agricultural inputs in the region is low. This study in western Kenya evaluates how farmer experimentation and learning about different inputs impacts farmers’ subsequent use of high-quality inputs and the productivity of their farms.

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Child stunting has been associated with exposure to aflatoxin, a toxin produced by a fungus that affects crops such as maize, groundnuts, and sorghum. However, the causal relationship between aflatoxin exposure and height-for-age child growth has not been demonstrated.

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Farmers may vary in their suitability as experimenters with new agricultural technologies. For example, farmers likely differ in their beliefs regarding the possible returns of the technology, in their willingness to take risks with an unknown product or process, and in their social skills and willingness to share information with others.

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be an important source of innovation and employment in developing countries due to their flexibility in responding to new market opportunities and their potential for growth. However, businesses in developing countries face a number of constraints that may limit their growth and the sector’s contribution to poverty alleviation and long-term economic growth.

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As of 2005, Kenya had one of the largest HIV-infected populations in the world—approximately 7 percent of Kenyans were infected. To test the impact of information on teenagers’ sexual decisions, a “Relative Risk Information Campaign” was conducted in 71 schools to give students information about the distribution of HIV infection rates by age and gender groups and discuss the role of cross-generational sex in the spread of HIV.

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Youth unemployment is a major challenge in many low-income countries, and evidence suggests young women in urban areas are disproportionately affected. This study in Kenya evaluates the Girls Empowered by Microfranchising program, which connects unemployed participants with local business franchisors and provides mentoring and startup capital for participants to launch businesses.

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Sanitation is essential to health and welfare, but as many as 2.5 billion people in the developing world have no access to improved sanitation. In slums near Nairobi, Kenya, IPA-affiliated researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of Maryland are testing how subsidizing the cost of connecting to the sewer system and providing information about the health benefits of improved sanitation affects the number of landlords who connect to the sewer system.

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Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 24 percent of the global burden of disease. While private clinics are the first source of care for many Africans, the quality of care offered in private facilities is inconsistent and often weak, and the private healthcare sector faces a wide host of challenges.

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Hundreds of millions of children worldwide are infected with parasitic worms. These worms are detrimental to children's health, their cognitive development, their education and their futures. Chronic illness caused by worm infections reduces literacy and adult productivity. This evaluation found that free deworming treatment substantially improved student attendance and health.

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Bednets treated with insecticide are a proven way to deter mosquitoes and prevent deadly malaria. But how can we get more people to use these potentially lifesaving items? Some argue that those who pay for a good will value it more and use it more compared to those who receive it for free.

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