Spanish

La evaluación de Ingreso Solidario demuestra la importancia del programa como herramienta de política pública para mitigar los choques de ingresos, laborales y alimentarios ocasionados por la pandemia del COVID-19 y reducir la caída en pobreza de los hogares vulnerables más golpeados por su presencia en Colombia.

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Brief
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May 24, 2022
Spanish

Los migrantes desplazados que se establecen en países de acogida pueden encontrar numerosas barreras para acceder a programas que podrían proporcionarles un gran alivio y alojamiento. Estas barreras incluyen poco conocimiento acerca de los programas, desconfianza en el gobierno y cuellos de botella en el proceso de registro. En Colombia, los migrantes venezolanos enfrentan estas barreras al registrarse en un programa de regularización del estatus migratorio que les otorga acceso a los mercados laborales formales y servicios sociales. ¿El proporcionar información a los migrantes sobre los programas de protección social puede contribuir a superar las barreras al registro y aumentar las tasas de aceptación de estos programas?

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May 04, 2022
English

In the last decade, more than 6 million Venezuelans have left their country. Around 1.85 million are currently in Colombia (GIFMM, 2021). The challenges to socioeconomically integrating this population into the country are innumerable. On February 8, 2021, the Colombian government decided to regularize their immigration status in Colombia and characterize them through the Estatuto Temporal de Protección para Venezolanos (ETPV).

According to Migración Colombia data, in less than a year, more than 1.74 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia completed the pre-registration process (RUMV) and more than one million completed the biometric registration, necessary steps for the regularization process. The scale and speed of this regularization process are unique in the world, particularly considering that certain social groups, such as irregular migrants, are difficult to reach and characterize. For example, a study conducted by researchers at Yale University found that the population of undocumented migrants living in the United States may be double what is estimated in the decade census (Fazel-Zarandi et al., 2018).

In Colombia, some of the main barriers to characterizing and regularizing the Venezuelan migrant population have been continuous geographic mobility, high levels of socioeconomic vulnerability, precarious access to the Internet and mobile devices, mistrust of the institutions in charge of the process of regularization, fear of arrest or deportation, among others. This policy note highlights the role of community leaders and the means they used in the regularization process.

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April 25, 2022
Spanish

En la última década, más de 6 millones de venezolanos han abandonado su país. Alrededor de 1.85 millones se encuentran actualmente en Colombia (GIFMM, 2021). Los desafíos para integrar socioeconómicamente a esta población en el país son innumerables. El 08 de febrero de 2021, el gobierno colombiano tomó la decisión de regularizar su estatus migratorio en Colombia y caracterizarlos a través del Estatuto Temporal de Protección para Venezolanos (ETPV). De acuerdo con datos de Migración Colombia, en menos de un año, más de 1.74 millones de migrantes venezolanos en Colombia finalizaron el proceso de pre-registro (RUMV) y más de un millón finalizaron el registro biométrico, pasos fundamentales para el proceso de regularización. La escala y velocidad de este proceso de regularización es única en el mundo, en particular considerando que ciertos grupos sociales, como los migrantes en condición irregular, son difíciles de encontrar y caracterizar. Por ejemplo, un estudio realizado por investigadores de la universidad de Yale encontró que la población de migrantes indocumentados viviendo en los Estados Unidos puede ser el doble de la que se ha estimado a través del censo por décadas (FazelZarandi et al., 2018).

En Colombia, algunas de las principales barreras para caracterizar y regularizar a la población migrante venezolana han sido la constante movilidad geográfica, altos niveles de vulnerabilidad socio-económica, precariedad en el acceso a internet y dispositivos móviles, desconfianza hacia las instituciones encargadas del proceso de regularización, miedo al arresto o a la deportación, entre otras. En esta nota de política pública se destaca el rol que los líderes y lideresas comunitarias y los medios de comunicación que estos utilizan han tenido en el proceso de regularización.

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Brief
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April 07, 2022
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We use a randomized experiment to compare a workforce training program to cash transfers in Rwanda. Conducted in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program not only relative to a control group but relative to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries. While the training program was successful in improving a number of core outcomes (productive hours, assets, savings, and subjective well-being), cost-equivalent cash transfers move all these outcomes as well as consumption, income, and wealth. In the head-to-head costing comparison cash proves superior across a number of economic outcomes, while training outperforms cash only in the production of business knowledge. We find little evidence of complementarity between human and physical capital interventions, and no signs of heterogeneity or spillover effects.

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Working Paper
Date:
March 29, 2022
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We study the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals selected from the general population of poor households in rural Ghana. Results from 2-3 months after a randomized intervention show strong impacts on mental and physical health, cognitive and socioemotional skills, and downstream economic outcomes. We find no evidence of heterogeneity by baseline mental distress; we argue that this is because CBT can improve human capital for a general population of poor individuals through two pathways. First, CBT reduces vulnerability to deteriorating mental health; and second, CBT directly improves bandwidth, increasing cognitive and socioemotional skills and hence economic outcomes.

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Working Paper
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March 21, 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many low- and middle-income countries, causing widespread food insecurity and a sharp decline in living standards. In response to this crisis, governments and humanitarian organizations worldwide have distributed social assistance to more than 1.5 billion people. Targeting is a central challenge in administering these programmes: it remains a difficult task to rapidly identify those with the greatest need given available data. Here we show that data from mobile phone networks can improve the targeting of humanitarian assistance. Our approach uses traditional survey data to train machine-learning algorithms to recognize patterns of poverty in mobile phone data; the trained algorithms can then prioritize aid to the poorest mobile subscribers. We evaluate this approach by studying a flagship emergency cash transfer program in Togo, which used these algorithms to disburse millions of US dollars worth of COVID-19 relief aid. Our analysis compares outcomes—including exclusion errors, total social welfare, and measures of fairness—under different targeting regimes. Relative to the geographic targeting options considered by the Government of Togo, the machine-learning approach reduces errors of exclusion by 4–21%. Relative to methods requiring a comprehensive social registry (a hypothetical exercise; no such registry exists in Togo), the machine-learning approach increases exclusion errors by 9–35%. These results highlight the potential for new data sources to complement traditional methods for targeting humanitarian assistance, particularly in crisis settings in which traditional data are missing or out of date.

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Published Paper
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March 21, 2022
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Almost half of all deaths of children under five years of age are attributable to malnutrition, and despite the decline in numbers, progress continues to be very slow. Malnutrition and under-nutrition, in particular, affect mainly households living in poverty. Recent research has shown that holistic livelihood programs can have a wide range of benefits for these poor families, from increasing household consumption and income to improving food security and mental health. This evaluation measured the impact of a multifaceted program on nutritional status, productive assets, and income. The program adapts the graduation approach, which combines a comprehensive set of interventions to enable ultra-poor households to develop sustainable livelihoods and resilience. It features a cash unconditional transfer, a productive investment (livestock or seeds), and a nutrition component (distribution of fortified flour), and nutrition education. 

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Brief
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March 21, 2022
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A multi-faceted program comprising a grant of productive assets, training, unconditional cash transfers, coaching, and savings has been found to build sustainable income for those in extreme poverty. We focus on two important questions: whether a mere grant of productive assets would generate similar impacts (it does not), and whether access to a savings account with a deposit collection service would generate similar impacts (it does, but they are short-lived).

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Published Paper
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March 17, 2022
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In mid-2020, IPA partnered with researchers from Yale University, Stanford University, and other organizations like Green Voice in Bangladesh to research different strategies to increase mask-wearing and measure its impact on COVID-19. They found that the now called NORM model, consisting of No-cost free masks distribution, offering information on mask-wearing, Reinforcement in-person and in public, and Modeling and endorsement by trusted leaders tripled mask-wearing, increased physical distancing and reduced COVID-19. IPA partnered with Shakti Foundation to tweak this rural model into an urban context for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and replicate the NORM program for an urban population. Overall, the intervention seemed to increase mask-wearing among middle-aged (30 to 50 years old) and men more. It has also been learning to understand the implementation impacts and challenges of the NORM module in urban areas, which has been designed in the rural setting.

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Brief
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February 28, 2022
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In Rwanda, we have continued our global tradition of rigorous, applicable research by building foundational research capacity and conducting evaluations in areas of pressing national concern. Examples of our work covered in this brief offer promising insights into everyday issues that affect the lives of the Rwandan poor.

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Brief
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November 12, 2021
Español

A lo largo de la última década, cerca de 5.1 millones de venezolanos han abandonado su país. Colombia ha sido el mayor receptor de estos migrantes: a junio del 2020 el Gobierno Colombiano identificó cerca de 1.74 millones de venezolanos al interior de sus fronteras, de los cuales aproximadamente 986 mil son personas indocumentadas. La composición de esta población tiene características socioeconómicas diversas, aunque destaca que el grueso de los migrantes son personas en condición de trabajar, que buscan conseguir ingresos para ellos y sus familias.

La crisis social desatada por la pandemia del COVID-19 ha agravado la condición de vulnerabilidad de los migrantes venezolanos. ¿Qué mecanismos favorecen el bienestar de esta población? Este resumen de política pública destaca que las redes de migrantes y la posibilidad de acceder a un permiso de permanencia (PEP-RAMV) facilitan el proceso migratorio en Colombia, permitiendo una mayor integración social y económica de la población migrante en la sociedad colombiana y generando efectos positivos en su bienestar.

Para explorar el impacto potencial de estos mecanismos, este documento proporciona una descripción general de (i) la importancia de las redes de migrantes y el PEP-RAMV durante los procesos migratorios, (ii) las diferencias entre estos dos mecanismos, y (iii) cómo ambos mecanismos han mitigado los impactos negativos en los hogares generados por el COVID-19.

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Brief
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September 21, 2021
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In April 2020, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation (MENTD) of Togo launched the Novissi cash transfer scheme. An unconditional cash transfer (UCT) to assist informal workers whose livelihoods have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, Novissi is a fully digital social assistance program. As of March 2021, Novissi has reached 819, 972 beneficiaries and disbursed approximately US$23.9 million (13,308,224,040 FCFA). This case study details the design process for the program, and its implementation during the coronavirus pandemic, which can interest leaders of social assistance programs in other contexts. It also highlights lessons learned on the use of mobile money to support fully digital social assistance.

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Brief
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August 04, 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to steep drops in employment, income, and access to markets, pushing tens of millions of people in low- and middle-income countries into poverty. Social protection programming has emerged as a critical response to the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these programs are social assistance measures, which provide benefits to individuals even if they have not previously paid contributions into the program. Before the pandemic, cash-based social assistance has been shown to successfully reduce poverty and enhance wellbeing along a number of dimensions, across many different countries. But what is known about the extent to which cash transfers have mitigated the worst social, economic, and health impacts of the pandemic? And who has benefitted the most from such assistance?

This review collates the current evidence on cash during the pandemic across a range of outcomes including food security and nutrition, livelihood support, health behaviors, and inequalities. It does so by highlighting rigorous impact evaluations of cash-based programs from countries across Latin America, Asia, and Africa. These programs include cash transfers (CTs), universal basic income (UBI), and public works programs (PWPs). This review is not exhaustive, but rather examines a variety of cases for which there is rigorous evidence to highlight findings emerging from the use of cash in large-scale crises. The goal of the review is to draw out key policy lessons about the implementation of these programs which can inform policy in the future.

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Brief
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July 29, 2021
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In Liberia, we have continued our global tradition of rigorous, applicable research by building foundational research capacity and generating evidence to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Brief
Date:
May 20, 2021

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