We evaluated the effects of a 10-week intervention that randomly provided access to remote training to parents of preschool children during summer vacations in Peru. In response to learning losses during COVID-19-induced school closures, educational coaches offered guidance and support to parents in activities designed to accelerate the development of foundational math skills. We found that the intervention improved cognitive scores in mathematics by 0.12 standard deviations. Furthermore, we show that remote trainers increase the likelihood and frequency of parental involvement in math-related activities, suggesting that improvements in learning are driven by greater parental involvement in children's skill development.
A multi-faceted program comprising a grant of productive assets, training, unconditional cash transfers, coaching, and savings has been found to build sustainable income for those in extreme poverty. We focus on two important questions: whether a mere grant of productive assets would generate similar impacts (it does not), and whether access to a savings account with a deposit collection service would generate similar impacts (it does, but they are short-lived).
IPA Peru partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Ministries of Education in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru to study the effects of COVID-19 on educational systems in Latin America. In Peru, IPA conducted 4,939 surveys representing 2.3 percent of total pre-school and kindergarten enrollment in the country using two recruitment modes: a phone survey and a self-administered survey recruited using WhatsApp. Surveys that target caregivers of school-age children were more likely to reach women (respondents who identified as female) than men, but the way in which sample members are recruited can have a big impact on how large a majority women make up. In this case, with WhatsApp we reached an even higher share of women (91 percent versus 9 percent men) than phone (72 percent women versus 28 percent men). WhatsApp respondents were also younger. The research team hypothesized that the recruitment mode and administrative list construction combined to produce substantively different samples of parents.
Global efforts are underway to improve education quality—to ensure children are not only in school but learning and developing to their full potential. Although many theories exist on the best approaches to improve education quality, policymakers and implementers need evidence on which programs are effective at helping children actually learn while in school. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and advances what works to reduce poverty and improve lives. In addition to conducting rigorous research, IPA reviews and consolidates research for policymakers and practitioners. The objective is to distill complex, nuanced, and dynamic research findings into focused and actionable recommendations. This brief summarizes and provides key lessons from multiple meta-analyses and over two-dozen randomized evaluations (both IPA and non-IPA studies) on improving learning outcomes in low-income countries, with a focus on basic education.
Globally, violence against women is a leading cause of premature death and morbidity for women and almost one-third of women report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their life. Yet rigorous evidence on scalable and effective ways to reduce IPV is limited, in part because measuring IPV is challenging. Current standards of practice for reducing gender-based violence are also relatively limited in scope, focusing mainly on changing gender norms. Designing and testing new approaches has the potential to yield more effective solutions. IPA’s Intimate Partner Violence Initiative, a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, exists to address these challenges. The initiative designs and tests innovative solutions to IPV, leverages existing research to identify factors that contribute to IPV and works to address methodological and measurement challenges in violence research and related fields. With our academic and implementing partners, IPA has identified a number of effective solutions, including mass media campaigns, coupling women’s economic empowerment with gender dialogue, and teaching secondary school students soft skills. Results from several initiative-supported studies are forthcoming. Further research will be needed to validate results in new contexts and at scale, and to design and evaluate new ideas.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) es una organización internacional sin fines de lucro que descubre y promueve soluciones efectivas e innovadoras para las dificultades que enfrenta la población más vulnerable. En IPA evaluamos la efectividad de las intervenciones utilizando métodos rigurosos de evaluación de impacto. Desde la fundación de IPA en 2002, hemos trabajado con más de 600 académicos de las más prestigiosas instituciones, gestionando más de 830 evaluaciones en 51 países. En el futuro, nuestro crecimiento se concentrará en los países, como el Perú, en donde contamos con personal local e internacional, relaciones consolidadas con el gobierno, ONGs y el sector privado, así como un conocimiento profundo de la problemática local.
En el Perú hemos realizado investigaciones rigurosas y aplicadas en áreas de interés nacional, mientras construimos capacidades para generar y utilizar evidencia. En esta reseña del program país, presentamos ejemplos de proyectos que ofrecen evidencia útil sobre aspectos que afectan a la población más vulnerable de Perú.