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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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The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge that has affected the health and livelihood of billions worldwide. Citizens of low-income countries have been affected by the pandemic in nearly all areas of life, and the impacts have been particularly challenging for those with limited access to social safety nets. Bangladesh is especially susceptible to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic due to its strong ties to the global economy, and these negative demand shocks are likely to persist throughout and after the pandemic. Researchers conducted two rounds of phone surveys in July 2020 and December 2020 with 3,125 vulnerable households with children across seven regions of Bangladesh. Across the two rounds of surveys, we find that the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19pandemic have persisted at least six months after the lifting of the general economic lockdown at the end of May 2020. Collectively, these findings point to several areas of need for vulnerable h...
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Brief
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March 24, 2021
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Since the COVID-19 outbreak, scholars and journalists have spread anecdotes of gangs and criminal organizations coming to the aid of citizens, governing in place of the state. Researchers studied if gangs respond to COVID-19 in Medellín. Despite the headlines, gang involvement in pandemic response is exceptional and mostly idiosyncratic. Surveying every low- and middle-income neighborhood in Medellin, they find that most of the support for civilians comes from state authorities and not from gangs  
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Report
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March 16, 2021
Medellín tiene unas estructuras de crimen organizado altamente jerárquicas y estructuradas. Con el objetivo de comprender cómo está organizada y cómo funciona esta estructura, durante los últimas tres años Innovations for Poverty Action, la Universidad de Chicago y la Universidad EAFIT han recolectado información sobre ella. Esto se ha hecho a través de entrevistas con integrantes de diferentes comunidades de la ciudad. En este documento se presentan los hallazgos de este trabajo. 
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Report
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March 16, 2021
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In partnership with the City of Medellín and community officials, EDI researchers co-designed a program of intensified government outreach and service delivery to test the impact of increased municipal governance on the roles and legitimacy of local gangs and the state. To design the program, researchers conducted interviews with more than 30 members of 19 criminal organizations over two years. Researchers combined findings from those interviews with administrative crime data and with surveys of city residents and businesses to learn about the organization and political economy of organized crime in Medellín. This EDI Policy Brief provides a summary of those findings to date
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Brief
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March 16, 2021
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¿Cómo apoyan las transferencias monetarias a las poblaciones vulnerables recientemente designadas y trabajadores informales durante una crisis económica? Para ayudar a responder estas preguntas, los investigadores están estudiando el efecto de Ingreso Solidario, una nueva transferencia monetaria no condicionada en Colombia que se puso en marcha en respuesta a la pandemia del COVID-19. Ingreso Solidario atenderá a hasta 2,6 millones de hogares de renta media baja que no estaban inscritos en otros programas de asistencia social existentes, ampliando así la cobertura de la protección social a las poblaciones de renta media baja. Los investigadores están evaluando los efectos de la transferencia en los ingresos de los beneficiarios, el gasto alimentario y no alimentario, la participación en el mercado laboral y la adopción y uso de productos financieros digitales.
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Brief
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March 01, 2021
Spanish
A medida que los patrones de migración cambian, se necesitan más pruebas del impacto de los programas de regularización en los países en desarrollo. En Colombia, los investigadores están evaluando el impacto de un programa de permisos temporales de trabajo y residencia para los migrantes venezolanos. Los resultadosque se estudiarán incluyen indicadores laborales, de salud y de integración.
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Brief
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March 01, 2021
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Founded in 2019, IPA Nigeria develops applicable research by building foundational research capacity and conducting evaluations in areas of pressing national concern. Examples of our work in this brief offer promising insights into critical issues that affect the lives of the Nigerian poor.
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Brief
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March 01, 2021
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We report the results of a randomized field experiment in the Philippines on the effects of two common anti-vote-selling strategies involving eliciting promises from voters. An invitation to promise not to vote-sell is taken up by most respondents, reduces vote-selling, and has a larger effect in races with smaller vote-buying payments. The treatment reduces vote-selling in the smallest-stakes election by 10.9 percentage points. Inviting voters to promise to “vote your conscience” despite accepting money is significantly less effective. The results are consistent with a behavioral model in which voters are only partially sophisticated about their vote-selling temptation.
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Published Paper
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March 01, 2021
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We partnered with the Ghanaian government to evaluate four methods of increasing achievement in schools with low average but heterogeneous student achievement. All methods focused on teaching at the learning level of the child—a remedial pull-out program with a teaching assistant, a remedial after school program with an assistant, an assistant teaching half the students, or teachers focusing on homogeneous groups of learners. Despite imperfect implementation, student learning increased across all four more so for female students, and gains persisted after the program ended. Fidelity of implementation decreased over time for the assistants but increased for the teachers.
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Working Paper
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March 01, 2021
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¿Puede el rediseño de los estados de cuentas de aportes a las pensiones aumentar la comprensión de los aspectos clave relacionados con el sistema de pensiones y mejorar la cobertura? Investigadores en Colombia se asociaron con Colpensiones, la administradora pública de fondos de pensiones de Colombia, para probar el efecto del rediseño de los extractos de pensiones en la comprensión de la información presentada a los beneficiarios y la identificación de posibles errores en sus extractos. El rediseño de los estados de cuenta condujo a una mejora en la comprensión de los beneficiarios de su información y a un aumento de las correcciones solicitadas, aunque estos efectos variaron según el tipo de beneficiario.
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Brief
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March 01, 2021
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Gangs govern millions worldwide. Why rule? And how do they respond to states? Many argue that criminal rule provides protection when states do not, and that increasing state services could crowd gangs out. We began by interviewing leaders from 30 criminal groups in Medellín. The conventional view overlooks gangs’ indirect incentives to rule: governing keeps police out and fosters civilian loyalty, protecting other business lines. We present a model of duopolistic competition with returns to loyalty and show under what conditions exogenous changes to state protection cause gangs to change governance levels. We run the first gang-level field experiment, intensifying city governance in select neighborhoods for two years. We see no decrease in gang rule. We also examine a quasi-experiment. New borders in Medellín created discontinuities in access to government services for 30 years. Gangs responded to greater state rule by governing more. We propose alternatives for countering criminal gov...
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Published Paper
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February 26, 2021
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In February 2021, the HTRI launched an open call for proposals for seed grants for partnership building, pilots, and data analysis. This RFP is closed as of March 21, 2021. This announcement document describes the RFP in detail, and the application guidelines covered specific details on how to apply. Due to the gravity and pervasiveness of human trafficking, it is of vital importance that practitioners, policymakers, and researchers strengthen the evidence on what programs work to reduce trafficking and protect victims. Innovations for Poverty Action established the Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) to work with researchers and partner organizations to expand the evidence base on effective solutions to reduce modern slavery and human trafficking. Over the next five years, IPA aims to facilitate and support meaningful, rigorous, and policy-relevant studies on trafficking to help combat this egregious global problem.  The purpose of this research fund is to build on sound theo...
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Research Resource
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February 22, 2021
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In February 2021, the HTRI launched an open call for proposals for seed grants for partnership building, pilots, and data analysis. This RFP is closed as of March 21, 2021. Thank you to all who shared your submissions. 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 6 to 9 proposals in this round that, as noted below, could cover a range of different activities.  With this call for proposals, IPA solicits proposals from researcher teams interested in expanding the evidence to further investigate this important topic. The fund will consider human trafficking research projects from all approaches to reduce human trafficking, including prevention, protection, prosecution, advocacy, and re...
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Research Resource
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February 22, 2021
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This plain-language brief summarizes the findings in the paper Falling living standards during the COVID-19 crisis: Quantitative evidence from nine developing countries published in Science Advances. The COVID-19 pandemic and the social-distancing policies put in place to contain the virus have led to a reduction in economic activity around the world. Families in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), many of whom work in the informal sector and lack social safety nets, face potentially stark threats to their livelihoods. However, little data exists on how these communities are being affected. During April-July 2020, researchers collected data on the early socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 using phone surveys of over 30,000 households (containing over 100,000 people) in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
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Brief
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February 05, 2021
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This study uses a randomized controlled trial in Pakistan to test whether one-on-one engagement with community religious leaders can encourage them to instruct congregants to comply with public health guidelines when attending religious gatherings. Treated religious leaders are 25% more likely to tell a "mystery shopper" he must wear a mask to attend. Treatment effects are driven by respondents who understand COVID transmission at baseline, suggesting the treatment does not work by correcting basic knowledge about the disease. Rather, it may work by connecting this knowledge to respondents' pro-social motivations and actions that they can take as community leaders.
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Working Paper
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February 01, 2021
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The “Proyecto Mi Barrio” research project based in Medellín, Colombia conducted phone surveys over a one-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey aimed to analyze how organized crime groups were responding to the pandemic. To ensure that the sample was representative of the full set of neighborhoods, or barrio, the project used quota sampling, where a set number of respondents from each neighborhood was targeted to be surveyed. The research team fully automated this process in SurveyCTO to reduce sources of error. 
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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Phone surveys can be an especially difficult mode over which to collect sensitive data. IPA Colombia conducted phone surveys in May and June, 2020 to understand how the organized crime groups of Medellín were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This necessitated asking sensitive questions about organized crime and illegal activities, specifically, extortion, perception of the drug market, and behavior of criminal groups. It can be particularly difficult to build trust over the phone, especially when the respondent cannot easily confirm who they are speaking to. The project team conducted an extensive piloting process to test multiple strategies for building trust and designing questionnaires. After completing this process, they catalogued a set of best practices for phone surveying with sensitive questions based on their experience.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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Many projects collecting data had to move to remote survey modes due to COVID-19 health risks for staff and participants. This may make it impossible to exercise control over the data collection environment, which is particularly important to ensure that behavioral studies can accurately estimate the effect of the intervention. Video conference software is a promising alternative to face-to-face surveys in some contexts where the study population has access to computers, tablets, or smartphones. IPA Colombia trialed protocols to conduct studies using video call software and self-administered forms. Successful practices include confirming computer operation and connectivity before launching and using breakout rooms and recorded explanations. These recommendations can be applied to any type of video interviewing.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) shifted its data collection efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to phone surveys. The IPA Ghana office developed and operationalized new study protocols in large research projects based on experiences implementing virtual phone banks and testing protocols during piloting. While it is important to re-write questionnaires, re-train enumerators, and overhaul data quality procedures for phone surveys, establishing effective protocols for building rapport and trust are vital to ensure that phone surveys produce high-quality data. Authors: Ishmail Azindoo Baako, Mathew Bidinlib, Silvana Limni, Sasha Thomas
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021

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