Mariel, Laura, Annie
March 10, 2021

To mark the occasion of International Women's Day, IPA presents the second of three blog posts this week interviewing female policymakers we've worked with in different countries around the world. They told us about their experiences working in government and promoting a culture of evidence-based policymaking within their institutions, how the COVID-19 pandemic changed their work, and what long-term impacts they hope to achieve in the sectors in which they work. See the first blog post here and the second post here.

Mariel Bayangos, Division Chief- Planning Service, Policy Research and...
Damaris and Besnart
March 09, 2021

To mark the occasion of International Women's Day, IPA presents the second of three blog posts this week interviewing female policymakers we've worked with in different countries around the world. They told us about their experiences working in government and promoting a culture of evidence-based policymaking within their institutions, how the COVID-19 pandemic changed their work, and what long-term impacts they hope to achieve in the sectors in which they work. See the first blog post here.

Dr. Damaris Parsitau, Founder and Director, Let Maasai Girls Learn, Kenya

Dr. Damaris...

Media Coverage
February 23, 2021

 "This is not a slow burn of a recession. This happened really fast. What that means is that people don't really have time to have prepared for it." IPA's Shana Warren describes to NPR what she and 25 co-authors found from tracking how 30,000 households in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone were affected by the COVID crisis. She describes how the povety  consequences around the wold have been different and worse than what we've seen in past.

Media Coverage
February 23, 2021

Vox reports on the results from a new paper that features data on the economic shock of the pandemic experienced by tens of thousands of vulnerable households across nine lower- and middle-income countries. The phone survey conducted from April to July 2020 found that while the effects varied significantly country by country, overall, developing nations are weathering higher rates of food insecurity, loss of income, and other negative long-term impacts.

Media Coverage
February 23, 2021

In Reuters, Shana Warren, one of the 20 co-authors of a recently published study on the impact of COVID-19 in nine lower- and middle-income countries, argues that emergency cash assistance is vital to helping economically disadvantaged households stay afloat while curbing the spread of the virus.

Media Coverage
February 22, 2021

The Financial Times reports on findings from a new survey of an estimated 100,000 people in Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nepal, and the Philippines between April and June last year. As Edward Miguel, one of the study's co-authors describes, the results are "dire," with already vulnerable households experiencing “steep drops in employment and income" and "a sharp rise in food insecurity." Note: Article may be gated.

The survey results have been featured in a range of news outlets, including The News International, Scientific American, ...

Figure 1
February 04, 2021

In July 2020, we highlighted Sierra Leone’s experience confronting COVID-19 from the vantage point of a fragile state—one that lived through civil war and, more recently, another acute public health crisis with Ebola in 2014, as well as a damaging mudslide in Freetown in 2017. Drawing on lessons learned from Ebola, Sierra Leone moved to close schools at the end of March, instituted a series of lockdowns in April and May, closed land borders for several months, and instituted a national mask mandate beginning in June. The government also prioritized more community-focused, tailored...

Bangladesh masks study
January 28, 2021

A research project we couldn't have anticipated a year ago is looking at how to encourage community mask use in Bangladesh. Credit: Abu Raihan, Innovations for Poverty Action


There is no need to expand on why 2020 was a challenging year, and how scary the beginning of 2021 was. And there are certainly many difficult months (even years) ahead of us in managing this pandemic. Yet despite everything that 2020 (and now 2021) has thrown at us at IPA, we have seen how resilient our community of staff, partners, funders, and researchers has been, coming together to leverage...

Media Coverage
January 05, 2021

In an op-ed on incentivizing COVID-19 vaccinations in France, Le Monde features an IPA study in Sierra Leone which was designed to encourage parents to immunize their children. The study found social signaling, through wearing bracelets to indicate whether children had been vaccinated, was a low-cost and effective way to increase immunization. The article suggests how these findings and other evidence on health incentives may influence efforts to boost France's overall acceptance and use of the COVID-19 vaccine. Note: Article in French.

Media Coverage
January 05, 2021

La República covers the impact of an IPA-valued VAT cash assistance program on building household financial resilience during the pandemic.

Media Coverage
November 28, 2020

Researchers Elisabetta Aurino and Sharon Wolf write in The Conversation about the impact of food insecurity on early child development. Referencing their long term research with Edward Tsinigo and IPA Ghana, which shows how hunger is associated with worse cognitive performance years later, they explain the long term consequences of hunger during the COVID crisis for children around the world.

 

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Mushfiq Mobarak
November 03, 2020

 

By Sarah Stillman

Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the University of California, Berkeley news site as well as CEGA's blog site.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists around the globe, refugees and others uprooted from their homes—due to conflict, economic hardship, climate change, and other pressures—must combat the dual hardships of disease and displacement. Already among the world’s most vulnerable, displaced people often have experienced violence and trauma, have limited access to services, and are homeless, with nowhere to safely isolate from the virus...

Media Coverage
October 28, 2020

L'Economiste du Faso features an overview from Shana Warren and Elliott Collins on how IPA’s RECOVR surveys in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire evaluated the multi-sectoral impact of COVID-19. IPA shared these results in July in webinars in English and French. (Note: Article in French).

Zambia_risk perception.png
October 27, 2020

By Dr. Andrew Silumesii, Besnart Simunchembu Kangalu, Tamara Billima-Mulenga, and Luciana Debenedetti

In a survey of residents in Zambia, IPA found that educational continuity, economic well-being, and food security are critical issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers must contend with twin concerns of continuing to promote risk-mitigation to reduce community spread of the virus while designing an equitable economic recovery that addresses malnutrition, better incorporates informal workers into government assistance, and mitigates learning losses. Read on for detailed...

"Eureka"—sketch by Doug Parkerson
Günther Fink, Peter Rockers, Rachel Levenson
October 20, 2020

 

I recently came across some sketches I made a few years ago. They were crude stick-figure drawings of a fisherman in a boat with many lines in the water. But unlike a normal fisherman, this one never reeled in the fish that he hooked. His job, as he saw it, was to experiment with different bait, tackle, and techniques to see what would get fish to bite. But he never reeled them in.

When I made the sketches, I’d been working for a decade with IPA on dozens of randomized impact evaluations in Latin America and Africa, first as a research coordinator and country director and...

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