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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.
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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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BACKGROUND: Limited evidence exists on how women’s experiences of care, specifically person-centered maternity care during childbirth, influence maternal and newborn health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the associations between person-centered maternity care and maternal and newborn health outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal data were collected with 1014 women who completed baseline at a health facility and followed up at 2 weeks and 10 weeks after birth. A validated 30-item person-centered maternity care scale was administered to postpartum women within 48 hours after childbirth. The person-centered maternity care scale has 3 subscales: dignity and respect, communication and autonomy, and supportive care. Bivariate and multivariable log Poisson regressions were used to examine the relationship between person-centered maternity care and reported maternal complications, newborn complications, postpartum depression, postpartum family planning uptake, exclusive breastf...
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Published Paper
Date:
May 06, 2021
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A randomized-trial of community-level mask promotion in rural Bangladesh during COVID-19 shows that the intervention tripled mask usage and is a cost-effective means of promoting public health.
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Working Paper
Date:
May 03, 2021
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Evidence suggests that face masks can slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, but getting people to consistently and properly wear masks has been a public health challenge. In Bangladesh, researchers partnered with policymakers to design and evaluate strategies to increase mask uptake. Masks were distributed to households and in public places. Mask use was promoted through role-modeling, messages by prominent Bangladeshi leaders and personalities, informational brochures, and in-person reinforcement. The researchers also tested a number of incentives and behavioral nudges, including public commitment devices and text message reminders.
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Brief
Date:
April 30, 2021
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Response rates remain low in phone surveys compared to face-to-face data collection (see here for a similar brief on response rates). This is especially true for random digit dial (RDD) or similar “cold call” phone surveys, which are necessary in the absence of a sample frame of reliable phone numbers. This brief presents early evidence from a series of experiments IPA conducted in 4 countries during 2020 to learn whether pre-survey messages, typically SMS texts, improve the rates at which respondents answer the phone, and complete the interview, with the ultimate goal of increasing the productivity of phone surveys. We find that, on average, SMS messages improve the rate at which respondents complete the survey relative to no message. This change is not driven by the rate at which respondents answer the phone, but by survey completion conditional on starting the survey. Random variation in message content had no significant effect on the rate at which respondents answer and complete p...
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
April 30, 2021
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For the public health sector, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines presents new challenges—a rapid timeline, targeting of adults, and, given limited initial supply, prioritization of high-risk populations. Research on these challenges in the context of childhood immunization has shed light on the barriers and enablers to vaccination, as well as effective demand-generation strategies to improve acceptance and uptake. While new information will emerge over time, evidence from decades of global efforts to immunize children offers important lessons to inform COVID-19 vaccination rollouts. In this brief, Innovations for Poverty Action’s Path-to-Scale Research team has compiled evidence from demand-side interventions to increase vaccination in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to help inform COVID-19 vaccination programming.
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Brief
Date:
April 29, 2021
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This research methods brief presents data from random digit dial (RDD) surveys in nine countries. We show that response rates to such surveys are typically below 60 percent and can be as low as 7 percent. We also show that most of the sample is lost at two points in the survey: non-contact, where respondents do not pick up the phone, and early refusal, where respondents terminate the interview before the survey begins. Beyond that point, cooperation is relatively high, with breakoffs during the interview ranging from effectively 0 to 10 percent across the nine countries. This evidence suggests that the most promising ways to increase response rates are strategies that increase pick-up rates and improve the first impression respondents have of the interviewer. While increasing contact and consent rates should logically improve response rates, it is not a guarantee. Future research would be needed to confirm whether respondents who are newly induced to answer and consent to the survey wo...
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Type:
Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
April 29, 2021
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Helping the ultra-poor develop sustainable livelihoods is a global priority, but policymakers, practitioners, and funders are faced with competing ideas about the best way to reduce extreme poverty. Innovations for Poverty Action conducted a randomized evaluation to test the impacts of diverse components and variants of the Village Enterprise microenterprise program, an integrated poverty alleviation intervention that provides poor households with a combination of cash transfers, mentorship, business training, and support with the formation of savings groups, over a one-year period. Key Findings Village Enterprise’s microenterprise development program led to increased consumption, assets, and income, as well as improvements in nutrition and subjective well-being. Cost-effectiveness appears high: researchers estimate a full cost recovery within three to four years. A cost-equivalent cash transfer appeared to have less promising medium-term impacts on poverty reduction and subjective wel...
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Brief
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April 20, 2021
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Durante la pandemia del COVID-19 la mayoría de países en el mundo establecieron medidas de confinamiento domiciliario. Estas medidas, aunque efectivas contra la propagación del virus, han tenido consecuencias no deseadas sobre la convivencia en los hogares. Según la OCDE (2020), las niñas y mujeres corren un mayor riesgo de sufrir violencia durante períodos de cuarentena obligatoria debido a la falta de personas o recursos que normalmente pueden ayudarlas a prevenir o enfrentar situaciones violentas. Pasar más tiempo en casa y la inestabilidad económica y laboral son otros factores de riesgo en este contexto.
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Brief
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April 19, 2021
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La crisis sanitaria y económica generada por la pandemia del COVID-19 ha tenido muchas repercusiones (que se han documentado extensivamente) sobre el bienestar de millones de personas en el mundo. Uno de los efectos más alarmantes de la pandemia es el deterioro en la salud mental tanto de las personas que se han contagiado del virus, como del resto de la población que se ha visto afectada por la incertidumbre asociada con una pandemia y por los efectos indirectos relacionados con medidas de contención tomadas por los gobiernos para frenar los contagios.
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Brief
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April 19, 2021
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La pandemia del COVID-19 ha tenido un impacto económico severo en el mundo. Buscando disminuir la velocidad de propagación del virus, varios gobiernos instauraron medidas de confinamiento desde principios de 2020. Sin embargo, esto ha generado barreras al acceso de alimentos a nivel mundial, sobre todo en los grupos más vulnerables (FAO et al., 2020). La falta de una nutrición adecuada es preocupante pues tiene repercusiones negativas en la salud y el desempeño físico y mental en todas las etapas de la vida, en especial en la primera infancia. En el largo plazo, está asociada incluso con una menor productividad e ingreso de los individuos (World Bank, 2006). Desde el inicio de la pandemia, en la región latinoamericana, en México, Guatemala y Colombia alarma la disminución de los ingresos y el aumento de los precios de los alimentos (RIMISP, 2020).
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Brief
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April 15, 2021
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La pandemia del COVID-19 ha puesto a prueba a los gobiernos, el sector privado y la sociedad civil en todos los países del mundo. No obstante, cada país enfrenta retos distintos que dependen en gran medida de sus características socioeconómicas y políticas. En el caso de Colombia, un conflicto armado interno y la presencia de estructuras criminales y de narcotráfico son factores que pueden llegar a exacerbar algunos de los retos de la pandemia. En efecto, las organizaciones armadas y criminales no son actores pasivos frente a la pandemia, y pueden reaccionar de formas que ponen en riesgo la seguridad y el bienestar de distintos segmentos de la sociedad, entre ellos los niños, niñas y adolescentes (NNA).
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Brief
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April 12, 2021
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La pandemia del COVID-19 presentó grandes desafíos a nivel mundial en 2020, y Colombia no fue la excepción. Por un lado, en la búsqueda de contener la propagación del virus, los gobiernos tomaron medidas de restricción de la movilidad nacional e internacional y de la actividad económica, con excepción de la producción de bienes esenciales (del 16 de marzo al 31 de agosto de 2020). Por otro lado, ante la incertidumbre y las pérdidas de ingreso durante este mismo período, los hogares redujeron la demanda de bienes y servicios. Para noviembre, 39% de los encuestados de RECOVR reportó un cierre permanente del lugar de trabajo que tenían en febrero debido a desafíos relacionados al COVID-19.
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Brief
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April 12, 2021
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The Social Media Usage by Digital Finance Consumer Project is part of IPA’s Consumer Protection Research Initiative. The objective of the project is to deepen the understanding of the types of consumer protection problems experienced by digital finance consumers across three countries and types of financial providers. It consists of a social media listening tool tested on digital financial services in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, and will be used to inform potential further experimentation with consumer engagement and complaint handling via social media by regulators and civil society. The digitization of financial services has been on the rise in the past years and has experienced a particularly big leap after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the temporary closure of physical offices and bank branches of many financial service providers. As financial services go digital, so do consumers by sharing their experiences, complaints and reviews through online channels and social media. Increasing...
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Brief
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April 07, 2021
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Convincing lending institutions to provide credit to the poor can be a challenge given that poorer clients often have limited to no credit histories and are therefore deemed high risk. A pilot study in Malawi showed that using fingerprints as unique IDs to track credit histories increased repayment behavior of microfinance borrowers, holding promise as a way to help more poor borrowers access credit. With support from USAID’s Development Impact Ventures, researchers collaborated with lenders and a centralized credit data repository in Malawi to evaluate the impact of this approach prior to its transition to scale. The implementation of the scale-up faced many challenges and researchers saw relatively low adoption of fingerprint identification by local microfinance institutions. These results highlight the challenge of scaling up a complicated technology in a resource-constrained setting, and the broader importance of evaluating interventions beyond the pilot scale before expanding them...
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Brief
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April 07, 2021
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La emergencia generada por la pandemia del COVID-19 y las medidas de contención tomadas por las autoridades han generado consecuencias a nivel global, tanto de salud pública como en términos socioeconómicos. Según la Organización Mundial de la Salud, a finales de febrero de 2021 había más de 110 millones de casos de COVID-19 en el mundo, y cerca de 2.5 millones de personas habían fallecido. Para entonces Colombia sumaba 2.25 millones de casos y casi 60 mil muertos. Entre los países de América Latina, sólo Brasil supera a Colombia en número de casos (10.5 millones). La distribución de la vacuna contra el COVID-19 no sólo protege a las personas de contraer la enfermedad sino que eventualmente permitirá relajar las medidas de contención del virus. En Colombia, por ejemplo, la cuarentena nacional obligatoria duró aproximadamente 5 meses y medio (del 16 de marzo al 31 de agosto de 2020). Según datos de la encuesta de RECOVR, al final de la cuarentena, 1 de cada 3 encuestados había visto su...
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March 30, 2021
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La crisis social desatada por la pandemia del COVID-19 ha agravado la condición de vulnerabilidad de los migrantes venezolanos. Lo anterior genera la necesidad de identificar mecanismos que favorezcan el bienestar de esta población. En este sentido, este resumen de política pública destaca que las redes de migrantes2 y la posibilidad de acceder a un permiso de permanencia (caso de estudio PEP-RAMV) son mecanismos que facilitan distintas instancias del proceso migratorio en Colombia. En el caso de las redes, los resultados identifican que estas son indispensables para resolver diferentes necesidades, pero cobran especial relevancia en momentos críticos (llegada a Colombia, enfrentando los estragos de la pandemia, entre otros). Mientras que el permiso de permanencia PEP-RAMV otorgó la posibilidad de acceder a mercados formales, salud y educación, lo cual generó una sensación de respaldo por parte del gobierno a una población que de otra forma tendría profundas dificultades par...
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Brief
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March 26, 2021
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Con motivo de la crisis sanitaria causada por el COVID-19 desde marzo de 2020, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) puso en marcha la iniciativa Respuestas Efectivas contra el COVID-19, RECOVR. Esta iniciativa incluye una encuesta longitudinal que tiene como objetivo recolectar información rápida y de alta calidad para informar decisiones de política pública relacionadas con la pandemia. Esta encuesta se ha realizado en nueve países, incluyendo Burkina Faso, Sierra Leona, Costa de Marfil, Zambia, Filipinas, Ruanda, Colombia, Ghana y México. Este documento presenta los principales hallazgos de la encuesta en Colombia, así como las características más importantes de la muestra y los métodos de recolección de información utilizados. Este documento irá acompañado de una serie de notas de política haciendo énfasis en algunos de los resultados más importantes encontrados con la encuesta.
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Brief
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March 26, 2021
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IPA se asoció con la Procuraduría General de la Nación en Colombia para desarrollar un laboratorio de innovación con el objetivo de apoyar a la entidad en la toma de decisiones de política haciendo uso de datos y evidencia rigurosa.
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Brief
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March 25, 2021

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