Media Coverage
October 08, 2016

Getting a microloan is far easier than getting a bank loan. But in east Africa many people have access to an even easier source of credit. It takes just a few taps on a phone to obtain a short-term loan, which will arrive in a mobile-money account almost immediately. It is an exciting, scary development, says Dean Karlan, a development economist at Yale University.

Media Coverage
October 06, 2016

The Economist talks about IPA's work in microcredit, flexible repayment loans, and ultra-poor graduation studies.

Media Coverage
October 05, 2016

For the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day, shocks such as illness, crop failures, livestock deaths, farming-equipment breakdowns and even wedding or funeral expenses can be enough to tip them, their families, or even an entire community below the poverty line. A major challenge for international development efforts is determining which financial tools provide durable buffers against such setbacks.

While meeting this challenge is a clear priority for policy makers and donors, it is also a major profit opportunity for commercial players who can solve market failures...

Zahra Niazi presents on using RCTs to improve financial product design
Pooja Wagh
October 03, 2016

One prerequisite for evidence-based policymaking is the existence of a collaborative relationship between the worlds of research, policy and practice. But how do we facilitate productive three-way communication between these actors?

At the Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action (a NextBillion content partner), we’ve organized a number of large conferences with the intention of catalyzing conversations. But we’ve found that vague prejudices can taint what could be opportunities to listen and learn. Practitioners sometimes suspect researchers of working on...

September 27, 2016

The Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from teams of researchers and financial service providers to conduct rigorous research on financial product innovations for low income households in developing countries.

This call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) marks the third competitive funding round in a four-year, $4.1 million investment supporting randomized evaluations in the following areas, with a specific emphasis on digital financial services for the poor. Areas of interest include:

Usage of innovative...
Media Coverage
September 12, 2016

Der schnelle und unkomplizierte Geldtransfer mit dem Mobiltelefon ist ein großer Zukunftstrend, auch in Entwicklungsländern. In Kenia hat „Mobile Money“ laut einer Studie schon zahlreichen Menschen aus der Armut geholfen.

Mobile phones are common ways for people to receive cash transfers
August 01, 2016

By Aaron Dibner-Dunlap and Yumna Rathore

Editor's note: This cross-post originally appeared on NextBillion.

If a mobile money provider offered a bonus on peer to peer transfers, would that be enough to generate new business?

If the provider sent weekly messages reminding mobile account holders to actively use branchless banking services, would that significantly change their behavior?

For the past three years, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) has been working closely with Pakistan's leading mobile money provider, Telenor Pakistan, to explore answers to such...

Media Coverage
July 26, 2016

IPA's Laura Burke co-authored an article in Money Magazine, with John Beshears of Harvard Busines School, Katherine Milkman from Wharton & J-PAL's Alison Fahey addressing why people don't save enough and specific tips from behavioral research on improving savings.

Media Coverage
May 30, 2016

IPA Executive Director Annie Duflo was interviewed by Colombia's business and economics daily Portafolio, where she discussed IPA's work on microcredit, unconditional cash transfers, and small and medium enterprises there.

Market vendor in Uganda receiving a mobile money payment
Will Boase
April 05, 2016

Mobile money and digital payments have opened the door to a new generation of products that have lowered costs and made serving unbanked and underbanked consumers a promising business proposition. But in spite of continuous innovations and a steady growth in digital financial services, take-up of these products remains low and usage rates are often disappointing. Many financial service providers are struggling to make these digital products live up to their full potential for businesses and consumers. 

At Innovations for Poverty Action, we are working to build partnerships between...

March 30, 2016

The Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from teams of researchers and financial service providers to conduct rigorous research on financial product innovations for low income households in developing countries. 

This call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) marks the second competitive funding round of a four-year, $4.1 million investment in project funding to support randomized evaluations in the following areas:

Designing financial and non-financial services linked to digital finance channels, including...
Media Coverage
March 16, 2016

IPA founder Dean Karlan writes in International Banker magazine about the future of finance for the unbanked and underbanked of the world. Using insights from IPA and other research, he discusses how behavioral research can help with innovative product design.

Press Release
February 09, 2016

February 9, 2016 (NEW HAVEN, CT) --- Innovations for Poverty Action announced today the beginning of a partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to translate research around the world into practical insights for financial service providers engaged with underserved consumers in the U.S. and Europe. This work will be conducted in close partnership with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co.,” said Beniamino Savonitto, Director of the Financial Inclusion Program at IPA. “This grant offers us a...

Media Coverage
February 02, 2016

IPA's executive director Annie Duflo and founder Dean Karlan write in the New York Times Sunday Review section about "What Data Can Do to Fight Poverty." They use examples from Uganda and Zambia to talk about how sometimes data leads us to different conclusions than our intuitions might.

Media Coverage
December 22, 2015

IPA founder and president Dean Karlan, writing on the Council on Foreign Relations blog, examines what we've learned from the Millenium Development Goals, and what it means for the process of the Sustainable Development Goals.