On April 19, 2016, the Ministry of Education of Peru (Minedu) launched MineduLAB at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru.
MineduLAB is an innovation lab for education policy housed within the Ministry of Education of Peru. The lab pilots and evaluates the effectiveness of innovations with the ultimate goal of allowing the Ministry to use evidence to improve, among others, education management indicators and children’s learning throughout the country. Critical to this success is the lab’s close ties with academia. The collaborative innovation process combines the researchers’ expertise with the political and operational experience of policymakers, ensuring that the interventions tested before scaling-up are informed by existing rigorous evidence and cutting-edge theories on education and behavioral economics. J-PAL LAC and IPA Peru provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Education of Peru during the past year to establish the lab as an internal unit under the Secretariat of Strategic Planning.
MineduLAB launch event brought together representatives from the academia, public and private sectors, international cooperation, policymakers and specialized press.
This event was inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Jaime Saavedra Chanduví and featured the following presenters. First, Fabiola Cáceres, Evaluation Coordinator of Education Policies, presented on “Cost-effective innovations in education policy: the experience of MineduLAB”. This was followed by a panel including IPA Executive Director, Annie Duflo; J-PAL LAC Executive Director Magdalena Valdés; World Bank Senior Economist of the Poverty, Gender and Equality Unit, Renos Vakis; and GRADE Principal Investigator, Santiago Cueto, who provided their comments on the initiative and took questions from the audience.
In the second part of the event, four Principal Investigators presented the results of the intervention evaluations they are leading in the framework of MineduLAB. Renos Vakis (World Bank) presented on the program “Expand your mind” that consists in the delivery of information on the development of intelligence to test if students’ self-perception of their own cognitive abilities changes. Andrew Dustan (Vanderbilt University) described the evaluation of an SMS campaign aimed at school maintenance to motivate them to fulfill their tasks at the set deadlines. Oswaldo Molina (Universidad del Pacífico) discussed the program “Deciding for a better future” consisting in the delivery of information on the returns of secondary education to fight school desertion. Finally, Christopher Neilson (Princeton University) followed suit with “Delivery of comparative information on learning achievement results to principals, teachers, and school parents”. After the presentations, there was a final round of questions.
The Chief of Office of Monitoring and Strategic Evaluation, Daniel Anavitarte Santillana, delivered the closing remarks.