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This report covers some highlights of IPA’s 2018-2019 accomplishments, which were made possible by the world-class researchers, organizations, and funders we are proud to call our partners.
Type:
Annual Report
Date:
October 25, 2019
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Visit our Strategic Ambition Website Today, IPA’s vision remains the same as always: a world with more evidence and less poverty. To achieve this vision, our last strategic plan emphasized promoting the adoption and scale-up of effective solutions. Since 2012, we have continued growing the body of evidence and contributed to the adoption of evidence-based programs, improving hundreds of millions of lives.  Yet we have learned that promoting an effective solution alone is not enough for evidence to be used systematically. Our strategic ambition through 2025 emphasizes the need for iterative learning about what works (and doesn’t work!), and why, and the need to equip decision-makers to use evidence, by building deep partnerships, engaging decision-makers throughout the research process, and helping them develop learning agendas adapted to their needs. We hope you will join us in this ambition, as we continue to build a world with more evidence and less poverty.
Type:
Annual Report
Date:
December 11, 2018
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Global efforts are underway to improve education quality—to ensure children are not only in school but learning and developing to their full potential. Although many theories exist on the best approaches to improve education quality, policymakers and implementers need evidence on which programs are effective at helping children actually learn while in school. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and advances what works to reduce poverty and improve lives. In addition to conducting rigorous research, IPA reviews and consolidates research for policymakers and practitioners. The objective is to distill complex, nuanced, and dynamic research findings into focused and actionable recommendations. This brief summarizes and provides key lessons from multiple meta-analyses and over two-dozen randomized evaluations (both IPA and non-IPA studies) on improving learning outcomes in low-income countries, with a focus on basic education. 
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Brief
Date:
December 17, 2019
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The Liberian Education Advancement Partnership (LEAP), originally known as Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL), began in 2016 with 93 public schools, and has since expanded to an additional 101 schools. The model is similar to charter schools in the United States or academies in the United Kingdom. LEAP schools remain public schools, charge no fees, and are staffed by public school teachers, but each school is managed by one of eight private contractors, including three for-profit companies and five charities which have taken responsibility for everything from teacher in-service training to fixing leaks in the roof.  While originally motivated by the government’s desire to improve test scores, the initiative has been dogged by the expulsion of students by private operators, an alleged coverup of sexual abuse of minors, and cost overruns.  This brief summarizes the results of a three-year randomized control trial, comparing outcomes for children in LEAP schools to those in regular gov...
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Brief
Date:
December 15, 2019
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The work of Nobel Laureates Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer has centered around the use of randomized control trials to help solve development problems. To date, however, few field experiments have been undertaken to evaluate the effects of humanitarian assistance. The reasons may lie in challenges related to logistics, fragility, security and ethics that often loom large in humanitarian settings. Yet every year, billions of dollars are spent on humanitarian aid, and policymakers are in need of rigorous evidence. In this paper, we reflect on the opportunities and risks of running experiments in humanitarian settings, and provide, as illustration, insights from our experiences with recent field experiments of large-scale humanitarian aid programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Published Paper
Date:
December 01, 2019
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Little evidence exists on women’s experiences of care during abortion care, partly due to limitations in existing measures. Moreover, globally, the development and rapid growth in the availability of medication abortions (MA) has radically changed the options for safe abortions for women. It is therefore important to understand how women’s experiences of care may differ across medication and manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortions. This study uses a validated person-centered abortion care scale (categorized as low, medium, and high levels, with high levels representing the greatest level of person-centered care) to assess women’s experiences of care undergoing medication abortions vs. MVA. This paper reports on a cross-sectional study of 353 women undergoing abortions at one of six family planning clinics in Nairobi County, Kenya in 2018. Comparing abortion types, we found that the MVA sample was more likely to report “high” levels of person-centered abortion care compared to the MA s...
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Published Paper
Date:
November 25, 2019
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This document provides application instructions for Round V (Fall 2019) of the Peace & Recovery (P&R) Program's request for proposals. The application process contains the following templates for applicants to complete when submitting their applications: Template for Pilot and Full Study Proposals Template for Exploratory Grant Proposals Budget Template (to be used for both Pilot/Full Study and Exploratory Grant Proposals) For more information about the request for proposals and P&R Program, read the Guiding Principles and Funding Priorities, and visit the P&R Competitive Fund page.
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Type:
Report
Date:
November 19, 2019
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La exposición al conflicto y otras experiencias traumáticas afectan negativamente el capital económico, social y humano de los individuos y sus comunidades. El emprendimiento y los programas de habilidades para los negocios han sido comúnmente adoptados para promover la inclusión socioeconómica en contextos frágiles. Sin embargo, la mayoría de estos programas le prestan muy poca atención a la motivación y a las barreras internas para aprender y tomar buenas decisiones, lo cual puede ser especialmente cierto para las víctimas del conflicto. Para estas poblaciones, la visualización—que anima a los participantes a simular escenarios en el futuro o adoptar la perspectiva de otros—puede ser una herramienta pedagógica útil para estimular la motivación. Para evaluar la efectividad de esta técnica, los investigadores diseñaron y están evaluando un programa de habilidades blandas que incorpora la visualización para emprendedores que han experimentado violencia u otras circunstancias difíciles e...
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Date:
November 15, 2019
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Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) invita a organizaciones y asociaciones civiles que trabajen con individuos en situación de riesgo expuestos a la violencia a participar en la convocatoria para participar en el proyecto “Construyendo Policías Eficaces, Resilientes y Confiables en México”. El proyecto “Construyendo Policías Eficaces, Resilientes y Confiables en México” de la Universidad de Yale liderado por el Dr. Rodrigo Canales, tiene por objetivo diseñar y evaluar cómo las fuerzas policiales pueden enfrentar el reto de reducir la violencia, aumentar la legitimidad institucional y confianza en las instituciones, y fortalecer el estado de derecho. En el marco del proyecto, se realizará una intervención comunitaria en conjunto con la Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana de la Ciudad de México. Esta intervención busca atender dinámicas de violencia grupal en territorios específicos para cambiar el comportamiento de individuos en situación de riesgo de ejercer violencia o ser víctima. Una...
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Type:
Research Resource
Date:
October 24, 2019
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Globally, violence against women is a leading cause of premature death and morbidity for women and almost one-third of women report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their life. Yet rigorous evidence on scalable and effective ways to reduce IPV is limited, in part because measuring IPV is challenging. Current standards of practice for reducing gender-based violence are also relatively limited in scope, focusing mainly on changing gender norms. Designing and testing new approaches has the potential to yield more effective solutions. IPA’s Intimate Partner Violence Initiative, a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, exists to address these challenges. The initiative designs and tests innovative solutions to IPV, leverages existing research to identify factors that contribute to IPV and works to address methodological and measurement challenges in violence research and related fields. With our academic and impl...
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Brief
Date:
October 22, 2019
French
Améliorer les opportunités d’emploi productif et inclusif est un enjeu essentiel pour une croissance durable et pour une réduction de la pauvreté en Côte d’Ivoire. La Côte d’Ivoire fait face à un défi majeur de qualité de l’emploi. L’emploi est fortement concentré dans des activités indépendantes agricoles et non-agricoles. En moyenne, l’emploi indépendant a une productivité et des revenus relativement faibles, ce qui mène à un sous-emploi important en fonction des revenus. Dans ce contexte, une stratégie productive et inclusive de promotion de l’emploi devrait à la fois se concentrer sur la création de nouveaux emplois, considérer l’amélioration de la qualité des emplois existants et l’inclusion des pauvres, des femmes et des population rurales dans des emplois productifs. Améliorer les opportunités d’emploi productif pour les groupes de population vulnérables est un enjeu essentiel pour une croissance durable et pour une réduction de la pauvreté en Côte d’Ivoire.La disponibilité de n...
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Report
Date:
October 04, 2019
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Lás microempresas, así como los proveedores de productos, enfrentan desventajas en comparación con las empresas más grandes respecto al abastecimiento de inventario porque, para reabastecerse, deben viajar con frecuencia y pagar costos más altos. Los investigadores evaluaron Agruppa, un servicio de tecnología que usa teléfonos móviles, el cual crea grupos virtuales de compradores para comprar a granel de forma más económica. La evaluación descubrió que la demanda inicial del servicio era alta, lo que ahorraba tiempo y gastos a los dueños de negocios, y aumentaba las ganancias de ciertos productos básicos. Sin embargo, dado que los dueños de negocios redujeron las ventas de otros productos, los ingresos y las ganancias cayeron en promedio y la demanda del servicio disminuyó con el tiempo. Agruppa finalmente cerró, lo que evidencia los desafíos de competir contra mercados centralizados.
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Brief
Date:
September 26, 2019
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Numerosos gobiernos en países de ingresos medios y bajos, como Brasil y México, han adoptado programas de transferencias monetarias condicionadas (TMC) como una red de protección social, pero la mayoría de los beneficiarios de estas transferencias tienen poca o nula experiencia en el manejo de productos financieros formales. Para contribuir a cerrar la brecha respecto a la capacidad financiera de los beneficiarios del programa de transferencias condicionadas del Gobierno de Colombia, Fundación Capital diseñó LISTA, un programa basado en la noción de "liberar la educación financiera" del aula mediante el uso de aplicaciones diseñadas para usarse en tabletas. Los investigadores colaboraron con la Fundación Capital y el Gobierno de Colombia para realizar una evaluación aleatoria (RCT por sus siglas en inglés) de LISTA para estudiar su impacto sobre el conocimiento y el comportamiento financiero. LISTA tuvo impactos positivos significativos en el conocimiento financiero, las actitudes, las...
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Brief
Date:
September 22, 2019
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Objective: Despite the recognized importance of person-centered care, very little information exists on how person-centered maternity care (PCMC) impacts newborn health. Methods: Baseline and follow-up data were collected from women who delivered in government health facilities in Nairobi and Kiambu counties in Kenya between August 2016 and February 2017. The final analytic sample included 413 respondents who completed the baseline survey and at least one follow-up survey at 2, 6, 8, and/or 10 weeks. Data were analyzed using descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistics. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between PCMC scores and outcomes of interest. Results: In multivariate analyses, women with high PCMC scores were significantly less likely to report newborn complications than women with low PCMC scores (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16–0.98). Women reporting high PCMC scores also had significantly higher odds of reporting a...
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Published Paper
Date:
September 20, 2019
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Recent research suggests giving cash directly to the poor can have a range of benefits for recipients in the first few years, including increased consumption, assets, and food security, but little evidence exists on the long-term effects of cash transfers, particularly as a way to spur entrepreneurship and increase earnings. To shed light on this question, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation in Uganda of a government self-employment program that provided cash grants of about $400 per person to groups of young adults to start a skilled trade. An IPA research team followed up after two, four, and nine years—providing some of the longest-term rigorous evidence on how start-up cash grants impact measures of poverty. Key Findings: »  Four years after grants were distributed, recipients were more likely to be practicing a skilled trade and earning 38 percent more than their peers who hadn’t received grants. The boost in earnings seemed to be driven by recipients’ work in skilled tr...
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Brief
Date:
September 17, 2019
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Enrollment in early childhood education has increased dramatically in Ghana, but the education sector now faces the challenge of ensuring young children learn and develop school readiness skills. This study evaluated the impacts of a scalable, in-service training and coaching program for kindergarten teachers, with and without parental awareness meetings, on teaching practices and children’s learning and development. Key Findings: The in-service teacher training and coaching improved teachers’ use of the play-based kindergarten-specific pedagogy that is specified in Ghana’s national early childhood education curriculum. The program led to moderate impacts on teachers’ professional well-being, reducing teacher burnout for allteachers, and teacher turnover in the private sector. The teacher-training and coaching improved children’s school readiness, including their early literacy, earlynumeracy, and social-emotional skills in the first year. One year later, when children moved to their n...
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Brief
Date:
September 03, 2019
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Las fuerzas policiales urbanas tienden a enfocar sus esfuerzos en las áreas con tasas de crimen más altas. Sin embargo, incrementar la presencia estatal en los sitios más inseguros puede simplemente desplazar el crimen a otras áreas, dejando las tasas de crimen agregadas iguales a como estaban en un principio. En Bogotá, Colombia, un grupo de investigadores, en alianza con la Alcaldía de la ciudad, decidieron medir el impacto de tres estrategias sobre la reducción del crimen y su desplazamiento: focalizar la vigilancia policial, hacer mejoras al espacio público y una combinación de ambas estrategias. La evaluación encontró que estas estrategias reducen el crimen en las calles focalizadas en el estudio, pero solo cuando son implementadas al mismo tiempo. Mientras la mayoría de los crímenes, particularmente los delitos contra la propiedad parecen desplazarse a las calles aledañas. Hay evidencia que sugiere que los crímenes violentos, especialmente los homicidios y el abuso sexual, dismin...
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Brief
Date:
September 03, 2019
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Can greater control over earned income incentivize women to work and influence gender norms? In collaboration with Indian government partners, we provided rural women with individual bank accounts and randomly varied whether their wages from a public workfare program were directly deposited into these accounts or into the male household head’s account (the status quo). Women in a random subset of villages were also trained on account use. In the short run, relative to women just offered bank accounts, those who also received direct deposit and training increased their labor supply in the public and private sectors. In the long run, gender norms liberalized: women who received direct deposit and training became more accepting of female work, and their husbands perceived fewer social costs to having a wife who works. These effects were concentrated in households with otherwise lower levels of, and stronger norms against, female work. Women in these households also worked more in the long...
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Type:
Working Paper
Date:
September 01, 2019
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IPA’s Peace & Recovery Program (P&R) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting proposals for research on violence and homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), supported by a pending grant from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). This document details P&R’s new research focus, outlining the types of projects we support, our funding criteria, and the focus countries for the competitive fund supported by OSF. Funding for this theme is subject to and conditioned upon IPA receiving funding from OSF. This funding is shared with J-PAL’s Crime and Violence Initiative (CVI). Please direct all questions to peace@poverty-action.org.
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Report
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August 08, 2019

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