Media Coverage
March 01, 2018

In an op-ed in the New York Times, David Leonhardt discusses the findings of IPA's evaluation of a Christian business training program in the Philippines. Leonhardt explores the results' implications with project researcher and IPA founder Dean Karlan, who concludes that the "findings are 'cautiously positive' for the power of religion." 

The evaluation found that a program that combined health and livelihood training with sessions on religious values improved participants' incomes while a health and livelihood training alone did not. However, the religious program decreased...

Media Coverage
February 26, 2018

DevEx speaks with IPA's Annie Duflo, Nathanael Golberg, Loïc Watine, and Dean Karlan about when an organization should or shouldn't consider a randomized control trial. They discuss good monitoring and evaluation principles laid out IPA's new Goldilocks Initiative, designed to help organizations find appropriately sized M&E strategies.

Media Coverage
February 26, 2018


The Economist reports on IPA's evaluation of a Christian business training program in the Philippines. Researchers evaluated the program for the poor, which provided health and business training, both with and without the religious messaging component. The evaluation showed that only the version with the religious component raised incomes and increased expressions of religious belief. However, it also reduced paritcipants' perception of their relative economic status in their community. 

Media Coverage
February 20, 2018

Devex reports on the new six-arm study of the ultrapoor graudation model in Uganda. Comparing to several other options, the graduation model was effective at helping the poorest of the poor and relatively cost-efficient. The program will be at the center of a new multi-million dollar development impact bond.

Media Coverage
January 04, 2018

In Bloomberg, Noah Smith cites IPA's research on seasonal migration in Bangladesh in an op-ed arguing for policies that encourage worker mobility. 

Media Coverage
December 28, 2017

NPR's Goats and Soda section has a feature about No Lean Season—a program that offers small, low-interest cash loans for transportation costs to help members of rural poor households get from their farms to cities to find their own temporary employment during the agricultural lean season. In the feature, researcher Mushfiq Mobarak discusses his inspiration for studying the idea and the process that has led to the program's expansion since IPA initially tested the idea. This year, GiveWell added No Lean Season to their list of top charities. 

Focus group discussion
September 27, 2017

Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Medium.

Over the last several months, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the IRC’s Airbel Center have been searching for innovative methods and new engagement tools to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) in Liberia. We interviewed a sample of Monrovian residents, including community and religious leaders, and held informal discussions in bars and on the street. Many men and women in Liberia described a man’s key responsibility in a relationship as “someone who provides financially for the home.” Failing to meet this...

Empowering Girls in Rural Bangladesh
Sarah Baird
September 25, 2017

This is the second in a series of blog posts summarizing the discussions from a May 2017 researcher gathering on measuring women’s empowerment in impact evaluations. Read the first post on household decision-making power here.

Painting a full picture of women’s empowerment in impact evaluations using surveys alone can be challenging. Qualitative methods can help researchers better understand a program’s impact on women’s lived experience and identify reasons why a program worked or didn’t work, but economists rarely have incentives to incorporate robust qualitative methods into...

Rachel Glennerster
September 06, 2017

This is the first in a series of blog posts summarizing the discussions from a researcher gathering on measuring women’s empowerment in impact evaluations co-hosted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the AbdulLatif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in May 2017.


By Rachel Glennerster and Claire Walsh

One of the first rules of thumb you learn about developing survey questions is that they should be specific and time-bound. In other words, it’s better if a question is about a specific event or behavior rather than a vague idea so respondents are less likely to...

Media Coverage
March 14, 2017

PI Chris Blattman published an open letter to Bill Gates in, citing several IPA studies. Gates has a plan to boost chicken ownership in sub-Saharan Africa from five to 30 percent. But we know from rigorous randomized controlled trials that cash is cheap, effective, and easy to deliver. Blattman urges Gates to promote a randomized controlled trial to determine which is the most effective and efficient way to help the poor.

Media Coverage
March 11, 2017

Among Southeast Asian Countries, Myanmar suffers particularly from flooding, cyclones, and landslides. For low-income populations, these natural disasters can be especially devastating, leading to child malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. Intellasia reports on how IPA Myanmar is partnering with Save the Children to generate evidence on the effectiveness of government-led cash transfer programs on child nutrition and hygiene.

Media Coverage
March 06, 2017

The "hunger season," after last season's harvest has run out but before the new one has come in, is an annual problem in many farming communities. The Financial Times reports on IPAs successful test of an idea to incentivize family members to look for temporary work in the city to support their families. Based on our data, the program is now being scaled up there.

Media Coverage
February 24, 2017

This weekend's The New York Times Magazine on The Future of Work has a featured profile on GiveDirectly and the organization's quest to "show the world that a basic income is a cheap, scalable way to aid the poorest people on the planet."

Read more about IPA's work with GiveDirectly and cash transfers here.

Media Coverage
October 17, 2016

Significant evidence so far points to the success of graduation style programs to get people out of poverty. These programs help the poorest “graduate” from destitution into sustainable livelihoods, largely by fostering self-dependence and resilience before disaster hits. In 2015 the Consulting Group to Assist the Poor at the World Bank and Ford Foundation released research documenting how graduation programs worked across contexts, in six countries, with six different implementers, to assist the poorest people out of poverty.

Media Coverage
October 06, 2016

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