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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Overview The Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) invites proposals from researchers and organizations that intend to design and carry out studies on how to reduce human trafficking or respond to the needs of human trafficking victims but need some additional time and support to push the research project to the next stage. We expect to fund a total of six to nine proposals from research teams interested in expanding the evidence to further investigate this important topic. This document outlines the proposal guidelines and required application materials in detail. You can also learn more on our HTRI Competitive Fund page. Application Instructions Please click the orange "Download" button on the right-hand side of this page to review the entire Application Guidelines. A completed proposal consists of: (1) a completed application form; (2) a detailed budget; (3) CVs of researchers; and (4) if applicable, letters of support from implementing partners. Please submit all materials t...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
January 10, 2022
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By the year 2030, roughly two thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty could be in fragile settings. Innovations for Poverty Action’s Peace & Recovery Program (P&R) aims to improve outcomes for conflict- and crisis-affected populations by building the evidence base on reducing violence and fragility, promoting peace, and preventing, managing, and recovering from crisis. The program prioritizes studies that develop, illustrate, or test fundamental theories of peace, violence, and recovery, especially those that are highly policy-relevant, challenge common beliefs, pioneer innovative interventions, and produce evidence where little currently exists.
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Brief
Date:
December 28, 2021
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Ten years ago, there was a common understanding in the international development community that policies to support entrepreneurship and firm growth in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were needed, but there was little rigorous evidence to inform the design and implementation of these policies around the world. The Small and Medium Enterprise Program (or SME Initiative, as it was called at that time) was born out of the need to fill this gap in knowledge and evidence. We aimed to achieve this by bringing together the worlds of research and policy to tackle important questions around the constraints to firm growth and find cost-effective solutions. Founded by Dean Karlan (Northwestern University) and Antoinette Schoar (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 2011, the SME Initiative started with a small but committed team and a handful of research projects and soon grew to become a thriving and prolific research program. Over the last decade, the SME Program has been at the fo...
Type:
Report
Date:
December 16, 2021
Más del 60 por ciento de los trabajadores del mundo están empleados en el sector informal, y se enfrentan a más retos y riesgos que sus homólogos del sector formal. Aunque los gobiernos y las organizaciones han puesto en marcha programas para fomentar la formalización, el progreso es más lento de lo esperado. En Colombia, los investigadores estudiaron si el acceso a la información promovía la formalización en una comunidad de bajos ingresos. Los resultados sugieren que la intervención tuvo pequeños y positivos, pero en general no significativos, en la formalización de las empresas, y efectos más sustanciales en la percepción de los costos y beneficios de la formalización. Se necesitan más investigaciones para generalizar estos resultados y aclarar los mecanismos subyacentes. Se está planeando realizar una evaluación a mayor escala en Bogotá.
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Brief
Date:
December 10, 2021
Los programas de transferencias monetarias condicionadas (TMC) han demostrado su eficacia para mejorar el nivel educativo en algunos contextos, pero no se han realizado evaluaciones rigurosas sobre el impacto que tienen los diferentes diseños de este tipo de programas. Investigadores de Bogotá, Colombia, evaluaron si cambiar el cronograma de pagos y el tipo de TMC podría llevar a un mayor impacto en el nivel educativo. Los resultados revelan que todas las variantes de TMC tuvieron un impacto positivo similar sobre la asistencia escolar, pero las transferencias que tenían como condición la continuidad de la educación tuvo un mayor impacto en matrículas escolares de niveles de educación secundaria y terciaria, en particular para niños y niñas de poblaciones en riesgo.
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Type:
Brief
Date:
December 10, 2021
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While digital financial services have evolved rapidly in Nigeria over the last decade, this growth is largely driven by the already banked population. A joint study by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and Africa Practice’s Inclusion for All initiative investigated three key barriers preventing many from joining the formal financial system: the reliability of financial services, the cost of using these services, and the limited transparency of cost information. The study found that: financial transactions conducted by phone fail often, service providers make it difficult and costly to find accurate pricing information (only 1 in 5 providers offer a toll-free customer care line), and the prices consumers pay can exceed caps set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The findings suggest providers can build trust and usage of these services by strengthening their infrastructure, improving access to accurate pricing information, and increasing compliance with existing price caps.
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Brief
Date:
December 08, 2021
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Through our work with partners in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) and globally, IPA has succeeded in finding organizations with innovative solutions for reducing crime and violence, and working with them to refine, pilot, scale, and evaluate their programs. IPA has also worked with governments in the region to support, design, and test new strategies to address their security challenges. Our experience has led us to believe that tackling crime and violence in the region requires more than identifying programs to evaluate. Rather, we must develop long-term, iterative partnerships with local actors that identify the critical sources of insecurity, and design, pilot, evaluate, and scale effective solutions.
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Type:
Brief
Date:
December 02, 2021
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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
Date:
November 12, 2021
In order to understand how refugee crises end we require an understanding of when and why refugees return home. We study the drivers of refugees’ decision-making using original observational and experimental data from a representative sample of 3,003 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We find that conditions in a refugee’s home country are the primary drivers of return intentions. Refugees’ decisions are influenced primarily by safety and security in their place of origin, their economic prospects, and the availability of public services. Personal networks and confidence in information are also important. By contrast, the conditions in refugee-hosting countries—so-called “push” factors—play a much smaller role. Even in the face of hostility and poor living conditions, refugees are unlikely to return unless the situation at home improves significantly. In addition to the data from Lebanon, we explore the generality of our findings using a second original survey of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
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Type:
Working Paper
Date:
November 09, 2021
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The Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Initiative has launched the fourth round (Fall 2021) of its competitive fund. Proposals are due by 11:59pm EST December 17, 2021. We particularly encourage multidisciplinary teams that include researchers that are from the countries where the field research occurs, and includes researchers with previous gender/IPV experience. Those interested in applying are asked to first read through our funding priorities on our website. With this call for proposals, IPA solicits proposals from research teams interested in expanding their existing studies to further investigate this important topic. In most cases, we expect to fund studies in which the intervention was not originally intended to target IPV, and the assessment of IPV outcomes were not part of the original study design. However, we will consider funding for the expansion of studies already focused on IPV where there is a unique opportunity to add novel insights. Thematically, there is particular int...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
November 05, 2021
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Stunting, or being too short for one’s age, is a warning signal that a child is at risk of failing to reach their full physical and developmental potential. Stunting is caused by poor nutrition during pregnancy, inadequate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, and repeated infections. Stunting has been associated with impaired brain development, poor school achievement and progress, reduced earnings in adulthood, and a higher probability of living in poverty. Stunted children are also at an increased risk of morbidity and childhood mortality from infectious diseases. In this brief, Innovations for Poverty Action’s Path-to-Scale Research team has compiled evidence from interventions to improve child growth and nutritional status in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
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Type:
Brief
Date:
November 04, 2021
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This document provides application instructions for the Peace & Recovery (P&R) Program’s call for proposals. Applicants are asked to use the following templates 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 04, 2021
Can information and communication technologies help citizens monitor their elections? We analyze a large-scale field experiment designed to answer this question in Colombia. We leveraged Facebook advertisements sent to over 4 million potential voters to encourage citizen reporting of irregularities and varied whether candidates were informed about the campaign in a subset of municipalities. Total reports, as well as evidence-backed ones, experienced a large increase. Across a wide array of measures, electoral irregularities decreased. Finally, the reporting campaign reduced the vote share of candidates dependent on irregularities. This light-touch intervention is more cost-effective than monitoring efforts traditionally used by policymakers.
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Working Paper
Date:
October 28, 2021
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Women who become pregnant less than 24 months after giving birth face numerous risks to their own health and the health of their child. As such, postpartum family planning services can help women to better space pregnancies and mitigate health risks. However, little is known about how postpartum family planning impacts women’s contraceptive use, fertility choices and birth spacing.  In a new policy brief, Mahesh Karra, Associate Director of the Human Capital Initiative (HCI) at Boston University's Global Development Policy Center, and four coauthors analyze their results from a randomized controlled trial that provided new and expecting mothers in Lilongwe, Malawi with access to a range of postpartum family planning services between September 2016 and February 2019. The services consisted of a combination of home visits from a family planning counselor, free transportation to a family planning clinic and financial reimbursement for purchasing services from the clinic.  Key Findings: Po...
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Type:
Brief
Date:
October 25, 2021
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The area of family planning is unique in that the patient, rather than the provider, is seen as the key decision-maker in determining the best course of treatment. As such, family planning programs strive to afford women and couples the greatest degree of choice over contraceptive methods, and consequently invest significant resources into providing patients with complete and accurate information. Counselors often consult with patients about their options, but little is known about how the information and contraceptive methods that are presented during counseling sessions shape the way women make informed choices about their preferred contraceptive methods.  In a new policy brief, Mahesh Karra, Associate Director of the Human Capital Initiative (HCI) at Boston University's Global Development Policy Center, and Kexin Zhang assess the results of a 2019 study conducted with 785 married women from Lilongwe, Malawi. The study aimed to evaluate how user-centered counseling approaches to fami...
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Type:
Brief
Date:
October 25, 2021
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Humanitarian crises affect over 200 million people globally and exact a large toll on population mental health. We assessed the impact of an economic transfer program on the mental health of internally displaced persons and host populations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We conducted a randomised trial among vulnerable households residing in 25 villages in North Kivu Province, DRC, where a large United Nations program responds to population displacement by providing economic transfers in the form of vouchers for essential household items (EHI). Households that were in need of assistance but outside the program’s standard eligibility criteria were randomly assigned (1:1) to a “voucher” or to “no intervention”. Households in the voucher group received US$50-92 worth of vouchers to use at a fair where EHI, such as blankets, clothes, buckets, and pans, were sold. The head woman of each household was interviewed just before the fair, six weeks and one year after the fair. T...
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Type:
Working Paper
Date:
October 14, 2021
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We implemented a randomised controlled trial study to measure the impact of one-on-one engagement with local religious leadership on the compliance of protocols at their mosque. Our messaging was a combination of religious appeal and public health guidelines that were interactive, involving frequent elicitation of the respondents’ reactions and agreement, as well as asking them to commit to action. Our study is different from previous strategies of COVID-19 containment as it does not rely on mass messaging but rather focuses on one-on-one engagement with focal community leaders. It aims to improve the implementation and communication of the 20-point plan that was agreed between the government and religious clergy to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, it is not novel in its approach as it is similar to previous interventions like the polio vaccination drive that disseminates knowledge and engages at the community level. Thus, the results from our study can provide valuable insight...
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Brief
Date:
October 07, 2021

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