A patient receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria

As COVID-19 vaccination ramps up worldwide, understanding factors that may lead people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to reject COVID-19 vaccination is of global concern, as lags in vaccination could facilitate global spread of virus variants. Researchers surveyed nearly 45,000 individuals in 10 LMICs, the United States, and Russia between June 2020 and January 2021on vaccine acceptance and trusted sources for vaccination advice.

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One way that farmers can improve their income and livelihoods is to transition from subsistence farming to market-driven, commercial agriculture in which output is sold into value chains.  However, smallholder farmers typically do not sell their output to buyers in value chains, and one of the reasons is because their output often does not meet the required quality standards.

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The transition from school to the labor market is a crucial step in the life of young people. Yet youth unemployment is much higher than that of adults in many countries around the world, including Rwanda. Challenges include a mismatch in skills paired with difficulties for young job seekers to signal their motivation and productivity to potential employers.

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How does an employment and training program compare, in impacts and cost, to just giving people cash?

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Evidence suggests that pay-for-performance (P4P) contracts can elicit greater effort from civil servants when designed well, but does advertising performance pay affect who applies for these public sector jobs?

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Limited knowledge of financial concepts is associated with suboptimal financial behavior such as low rate of formal savings, poor usage of bank accounts, amongst others. Well-designed financial education programs have the potential to improve financial knowledge and behavior, leading to improvements in wellbeing.

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Renewable off-grid home lighting systems have the potential to reduce the use of kerosene lanterns and other expensive and dirty forms of light in areas that lack electricity, but adoption of such lighting systems is low.

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How do standard development programs compare to just giving people cash?

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Poor sanitation leads to major diseases, increased public health expenditures, and causes diarrhea—a leading cause of mortality in children under five. In western Rwanda, researchers evaluated the impact of community health clubs on the health and hygiene of children under five in particular. They found that the clubs had no impact on caregiver-reported rates of diarrhea among the children in the study.

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Secondary school enrollment in Africa is expected to double by 2030, yet high youth unemployment rates suggest that the existing formal education system is not preparing students to improve their livelihoods through work.

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Many farmers in developing countries lack the capital necessary to invest in potentially profitable inputs, as these investments must be made months after the harvest when households lack cash. Commitment savings accounts, which have features to discourage withdrawals, have been shown to help the poor save, and could help farmers put aside money to invest in their farms. However, demand for these products is low.

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In sub-Saharan Africa, many of the region’s poor are small-scale farmers. While certain agronomic practices, such as pruning tree crops, can substantially increase yields, take-up of many such practices remains low, potentially resulting in lower yields and profits. In Rwanda, researchers worked with TechnoServe to evaluate the impact of an agronomy training program on farmers’ knowledge and use of best practices in coffee-growing.

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