Evidence from multiple contexts suggests that the Graduation Approach, which provides holistic livelihood support for ultra-poor households, has lasting positive impacts on a range of outcomes. However, graduation programs are relatively expensive because of the intense level of support they offer. The costs pose a challenge for governments that want to implement the approach at scale.

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Displaced migrants who settle in new countries may encounter numerous barriers to accessing host country programs that could potentially provide helpful relief and accommodation for them. These barriers include low awareness of the program, distrust in the government, and registration bottlenecks. In Colombia, Venezuelan migrants face these barriers when registering for a migrant regularization program that grants them access to labor markets and social services.

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As migration patterns change, further evidence of the impact of regulatory programs in developing countries is needed. In Colombia, researchers are evaluating the impact of a temporary working and residence permit program for Venezuelan migrants. Outcomes to be studied include labor indicators, health, and integration measures. Results show that the permit program had significant positive effects on employment, welfare, and resilience for migrants.

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Refugees and asylum seekers often struggle to find jobs in their host countries, even when they have unrestricted right to work. This is especially true in low-income countries, home to the majority of the displaced populations in the world.

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Slums and poor neighborhoods around the world are occupied by powerful criminal organizations that increasingly recruit young people. What factors lead people to join these groups, and how can governments prevent recruitment?

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As conflict forcibly displaces millions of people, social ties and trust across groups can disintegrate and be difficult to rebuild after violence subsides. Positive and cooperative intergroup contact has the potential to reduce prejudice and improve relationships with outgroup members. Researchers evaluated the impact of mixed Christian-Muslim soccer teams on social cohesion and interactions between these groups in an ISIS-affected area of Iraq.

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How can communities be encouraged to accept former members of violent extremist groups who demobilize from conflict and begin the process of reintegration? Working in communities affected by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, researchers examined whether messages from religious leaders—widely trusted in the region—could influence attitudes and intended behaviors, as well as shift perceived social norms, related to community support for the reintegration of former Boko Haram members.

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In the wake of Covid-19, countries around the world have experienced an increase in reported cases of intimate partner violence (IPV). In partnership with the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations of Peru, researchers are evaluating a text-based campaign designed to help men regulate their emotions and reduce perpetration of IPV.

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Can public health interventions help ameliorate the negative effects of disasters? How do disasters affect individual decision-making about important health behaviors?  In Mozambique, researchers are leveraging an ongoing randomized evaluation to examine whether a community-level HIV/AIDS program with risk-coping components, such as Village Savings and Loan groups, helps people cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Idai and reduce disaster-induced deterioration of health decision-making.

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Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are severely limited by regulations outlawing formal work, in addition to movement restrictions that limit access to nearby informal work, potentially contributing to poor mental health outcomes. This randomized evaluation examined the effects of employment on psychosocial wellbeing and found that employment delivers significant psychosocial wellbeing, particularly among men.

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The use of military forces for public security tasks has become a common approach to combat crime and insecurity. Advocates of these “mano dura” (iron fist) policies view them as necessary to control crime, while detractors claim they undermine human rights. In Cali, Colombia, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation of a military policing program called Plan Fortaleza to rigorously measure the impacts of military policing on crime rates and human rights.

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Urban armed groups, especially criminal gangs, are a growing threat to peace and economic growth in cities across the world. These groups often exert state-like powers, enforcing contracts, policing, and taxing businesses in the areas they informally govern.

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How can community-oriented policing practices be implemented in a way that sustainably increases trust in the police and reduces crime in areas where state legitimacy is low? In the Philippines, researchers examined the effects of a community policing program on attitudes towards the police and public safety outcomes. The intervention combined community engagement with problem-oriented policing.

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Effective engagement with religious leaders to persuade them to encourage compliance with health measures could be critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since religious gatherings carry a high risk of infection.

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Without special attention to creating economic opportunities for ex-combatants, they may be more likely to join rebellious groups, commit crime, and otherwise threaten political stability. In Liberia, researchers tested the effect of an intensive agricultural training program that also provided agricultural supplies and psychosocial counseling on employment activities, income, and socio-political integration.

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