Booklet
This report covers some highlights of IPA’s 2020-2021 accomplishments, which were made possible by the world-class researchers, organizations, and funders we are proud to call our partners.
Type:
Annual Report
Date:
November 10, 2021
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This report covers some highlights of IPA’s 2019-2020 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 30, 2020
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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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Violence committed by men against women in intimate relationships is a pervasive problem around the world. Patriarchal norms that place men as the head of household are often to blame. Previous research suggests that trusted authorities can shift perceptions of norms and create behavior change. In many settings, a compelling authority on behavior in relationships is religious leaders, who are influential sources of information about proper conduct in relationships and gatekeepers ofmarriage, but may also uphold traditional gender roles. One way leaders exert their influence is through premarital or couples counseling courses. In this study, we test whether, if given an opportunity to offer a more progressive religious interpretation of gender roles during these courses, religious leaders could motivate men to share power and thereby reduce violence. Building on existing faith networks of Christian religious leaders in western Uganda, we conducted a large pair-matched, randomized contro...
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Published Paper
Date:
August 11, 2022
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This paper reports on a two-tiered experiment designed to separately identify the selection and effort margins of pay-for-performance (P4P). At the recruitment stage, teacher labor markets were randomly assigned to a `pay-for-percentile' or fixed-wage contract. Once recruits were placed, an unexpected, incentive-compatible, school-level re-randomization was performed, so that some teachers who applied for a fixed-wage contract ended up being paid by P4P, and vice versa. By the second year of the study, the within-year effort effect of P4P was 0.16 standard deviations of pupil learning, with the total effect rising to 0.20 standard deviations after allowing for selection.
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Published Paper
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August 03, 2022
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In most societies, a small number of people commit the most serious violence. Short-term studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can reduce such antisocial behaviors. These behavior changes may be temporary, however, especially from therapy on its own. This is unsettled, however, for there has been little randomized, long-term research. We follow 999 highrisk men in Liberia 10 years after randomization into either: 8 weeks of a therapy; a $200 grant; both; or a control group. A decade later, both therapy alone and therapy with economic assistance produce dramatic reductions in antisocial behaviors. Drug-selling and participation in thefts and robberies, for example, fall by about half. These impacts are greatest among the highest-risk men. The effects of therapy alone, however, are smaller and more fragile. The effects of therapy plus economic assistance are more sustained and precise. Since the cash did not increase earnings for more than a few months, we hypothesiz...
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Working Paper
Date:
August 02, 2022
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This document provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI)'s Competitive Fund.
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
July 29, 2022
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We present the results of a 3.5-year followup on a randomized experiment benchmarking a workforce training program against cash transfers. Examining self-employment outcomes in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program relative not only to a control group, but also to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries in cash. We continue to find impacts of the job training program on time use, productive assets, and business knowledge, while the cash transfers have strong continued effects on productive assets, livestock values, savings, and subjective wellbeing. Both interventions enhance the likelihood that individuals operate businesses and the sales in those businesses, with large cash transfers sustaining strong improvements in business profits more than three years after disbursement. Nonetheless, impacts have faded by roughly one-half compared to what was seen at the 18-month midline,...
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Published Paper
Date:
July 19, 2022
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Can training and mentorship expand the economic impact of cash transfer programs, or would such extensions waste resources that recipients could allocate more impactfully by themselves? Over the course of two years, a Ugandan nonprofit organization implemented alternative poverty alleviation approaches in a randomized manner. These included an integrated graduation-style program involving cash transfers as well as extensive training and mentorship; a slightly simplified variant excluding training on savings group formation; and a radically simplified approach that monetized all intangibles and delivered cash only. Light-touch behavioral extensions involving goal-setting and plan-making were also implemented with some cash transfer recipients. We find that simplifying the integrated program tended to erode its impact.
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Published Paper
Date:
July 13, 2022
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In March of 2020, the Government of Colombia expanded existing social assistance programs to help shield households from the economic impact of lockdown orders associated with COVID-19. The programs included the launch of Compensación del IVA, an unconditional cash transfer (UCT), supported by value-added tax (VAT) revenue, designed to support Colombian households living in extreme poverty. This case study examines the government’s rapid deployment of the cash transfer payments via mobile wallets from March to April of 2020. The goal of deploying the funds digitally was to stem COVID-19 infections and distribute benefits quickly. However, beneficiaries faced technological challenges associated with the mobile wallet, and 23 percent of mobile money recipients reported delays or difficulties accessing the transfer (compared to 10 percent of cash recipients). Lessons from the Colombian government’s rapid deployment of digital payments and the consequences of the digitized UCT for benefici...
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Brief
Date:
July 12, 2022
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The Consumer Protection Research Fund is open to all academic researchers and accepts proposals for randomized evaluations of consumer protection in digital financial services in lower and lower-middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Applicants are invited to consult this Request for Proposals Overview document to better understand the policy motivation and research questions acceptable for consideration under this scheme. The deadline for submission is Friday, August 19, 2022. To help researchers prepare proposals for the August 19 deadline, IPA will host two identical Question & Answer sessions on Thursday, July 14, at 7:00AM Eastern Standard Time for those in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time for those in the United States. To register for these sessions please visit our registration pages: 7:00am EST | 2:00pm EST. Learn more here about this open call for proposals.
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Research Resource
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July 11, 2022
Spanish
La minería ilegal es prominente en todo el mundo, pero rara vez esta actividad se reporta ante las autoridades responsables de monitorearla. Colombia Mining Monitoring (CoMiMo) utiliza inteligencia artificial y tecnología satelital para localizar posibles puntos de ubicación de minas ilegales en Colombia. Usando esta tecnología, los investigadores revelaron la ubicación de minas a las autoridades locales y nacionales para medir su respuesta y determinar si esta información reduce o reubica la presencia de la minería ilegal.
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Brief
Date:
July 01, 2022
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¿Pueden los programas de formación en las industrias creativas, como la música, brindar oportunidades para ayudar a mejorar las habilidades técnicas y no técnicas de los jóvenes para estar preparados y tener éxito en la economía moderna? En Colombia, investigadoras están evaluando el impacto de un programa de emprendimiento musical y planificación de vida en el fomento del desarrollo de habilidades técnicas y blandas en los jóvenes.
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Brief
Date:
June 30, 2022
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Innovations for Poverty Action’s Peace & Recovery (P&R) competitive research fund supports randomized evaluations and related research on reducing violence and fragility, promoting peace, and preventing, managing, and recovering from crises. The program supports policy-relevant studies that develop, illustrate, or test fundamental theories of peace, violence, and recovery, especially those that challenge common beliefs, pioneer innovative interventions, and produce evidence where little currently exists. To date, we have funded over 80 projects in approximately 30 countries.  
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Brief
Date:
June 23, 2022
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A large and growing segment of the Bangladesh population are digital financial service (DFS) users, yet little has been done to investigate the range and prevalence of consumer protection issues that occur with these services such as fraud, hidden fees, and ineffective complaints mechanisms. In other markets, evidence suggests some customer segments, for example, women and lower-income customers may experience these issues at higher rates than the population at large. To better understand the nature of risks in DFS in Bangladesh, IPA conducted a phone survey of DFS users in November 2021, the results of which are presented in this report. This report finds that scams, overcharging, and poor customer care were the most common consumer protection challenges faced by digital financial service users, although these were all reported at lower levels than similar surveys in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. The report also reveals that consumers often do not report challenges through formal compla...
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Report
Date:
June 14, 2022
ENGLISH
Households living in extreme poverty face many challenges that restrict their ability to earn a living, but historically, policies aimed at building pathways out of poverty have focused only on one or few constraints. Evidence from NGO programs points to the promise of multi-faceted programs, but questions remain around the effectiveness and scalability of such programs through government systems. In collaboration with Government Safety Nets Units, Innovations for Poverty Action, and partner researchers evaluated the impact of multidimensional economic inclusion programs delivered on top of national cash transfer programs to address several poverty challenges simultaneously. The evaluation included programs in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal, all countries in the Sahel region. This brief presents the main findings of the evaluation in Niger. Results for Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal will be presented in forthcoming briefs.      Les ménages vivant dans l’extrême pau...
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Brief
Date:
June 10, 2022
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IPA’s Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) has launched its second Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for full randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other rigorous impact evaluations to assess the impact of counter-trafficking programs. Proposals are due by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on Friday, August 5, 2022. HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions that fall into any or all of the "4P’s” (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Funding priorities are guided by HTRI’s Research and Learning Agenda, which outlines key research gaps under the 4P’s. Applicants are instructed to read the Research and Learning Agenda and refer to one or more of HTRI’s priority research questions that their research project intends to address. Research that is primarily qualitative or descriptive will NOT be considered for funding under HTRI. Applicants can request full funding for RCTs, partial funding for RCTs, or funding for new arms of existing RCTs,...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
June 08, 2022
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The Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) is a five-year program funded by the Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS) at the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) and implemented by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). HTRI seeks to expand the evidence on the primary drivers of human trafficking and the most effective ways to prevent this pervasive problem. HTRI has developed this research and learning agenda to guide the project’s research and policy efforts by: Identifying inefficiencies and critical evidence gaps hindering the success of international anti-human trafficking initiatives; Providing information and evidence to guide HTRI’s grant-making selection process; Shaping HTRI’s knowledge management and policy change agenda through new knowledge and data gathered from HTRI-funded research. This document outlines the current priority research questions and working analytic framework to promote analysis of programs spanni...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
June 07, 2022
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In Liberia, an 8-week CBT program paired with cash transfers, called the Sustainable Transformation for Youth in Liberia (STYL) program, successfully reduced criminal, violent, and other antisocial behaviors over a ten-year period. The STYL program, developed by the local community organization Network for Empowerment & Progressive Initiative (NEPI), involved therapy led by reformed street youth and ex-combatants. The program was low-cost, with a budget of $530 US per participant for CBT, cash, and administration.
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Brief
Date:
June 06, 2022
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New monitoring technologies can help curb illegal activities by reducing information asymmetries between enforcing and monitoring government agents. I created a novel dataset using machine learning predictions on satellite imagery that detects illegal mining. Then I disclosed the predictions to government agents to study the impact on illegal activity. I randomly assigned municipalities to one of four groups: (1) information to the observer (local government) of potential mine locations in his jurisdiction; (2) information to the enforcer (National government) of potential mine locations; (3) information to both observer and enforcer, and (4) a control group, where I informed no one. I use an independent expert validated dataset that measures gold mining to evaluate the effect of the intervention. I find that the effect of treatment is relatively similar regardless of who is informed: in treated municipalities, illegal mining is reduced by 11% in the disclosed locations and surrounding...
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Working Paper
Date:
May 27, 2022

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