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Objective: To understand perspectives and experiences related to participation in a quality improvement collaborative (QIC) to improve person-centered care (PCC) for maternal health and family planning (FP) in Kenya. Design and setting: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with members of the QIC in four public health facilities in Kenya. Participants: Clinical and nonclinical public health facility staff who had participated in the QIC were purposively sampled to participate in the semi-structured interviews. Intervention: A QIC was implemented across four public health facilities in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties in Kenya to improve PCC experiences for women seeking maternity or FP services. Main outcome measure: Semi-structured interviews with participants of the QIC to understand perspectives and experiences associated with sensitization to and implementation of PCC behaviors in maternity and FP services. Results: Respondents reported that sensitization to PCC princip...
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Published Paper
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October 15, 2020
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In Sierra Leone, we have continued our global tradition of rigorous, applicable research by building foundational research capacity and generating evidence to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Examples of our key research findings are outlined in this brief.
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Brief
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October 09, 2020
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As of September 2020, the Syrian government had retaken control of the majority of Syria, leading to speculation about the end of the country’s civil war and sparking debates both within the region and beyond about whether Syrian refugees will return. While some regional governments have begun to take active steps to encourage such return, many in the international community believe that conditions in Syria remain unsuitable for return. Still, some have started to consider steps to aid refugees with going back.  Absent in these discussions though is the voice of Syrian refugees. Do refugees want to go back to Syria? And if so, when and how? What are the conditions that predict the return of refugees? With support from IPA’s Peace & Recovery Program, researchers from the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) conducted a representative survey of 3,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon from August-October 2019 to learn about their return intentions.
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Brief
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September 25, 2020
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The expansion of social protection programs has an important role to play in pandemic response. Cash transfers are an especially promising avenue, as they are effective at improving a number of development outcomes. These include raising individuals’ incomes and asset ownership, improving their nutritional status and mental health, and lowering their risk of experiencing illness or intimate partner violence (IPV). Digital payments can offer the opportunity to distribute cash transfers in a manner compliant with social distancing.  How should policymakers decide what type of support to provide to vulnerable citizens during the pandemic, and which individuals should benefit? This policy brief outlines four key decisions in social protection program design. These choices relate to topics like determining funding requirements, selecting beneficiaries, and deciding whether beneficiaries should receive cash payments, digital payments, or in-kind transfers of food or other goods. Evidence c...
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Brief
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September 16, 2020
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IPA invites experienced research firms to submit proposals to deliver various research deliverables, including in-person stakeholder interviews, provide in-person support for a virtual human-centered design workshop, a quantitative survey, and to conduct supplemental qualitative research among women-owned MSMEs in Indonesia.  
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Research Resource
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September 15, 2020
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In collaboration with the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Philippines is conducting a series of studies on the effect of judicial reforms on the efficiency of the lower trial courts. The three reforms under evaluation aim to reduce court case congestion through speedy and timely delivery of justice. Using quasi-experimental methods in each study, this research uses court and case level administrative data from court databases and from paper records, which have been digitized by the team, to measure court efficiency. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and global and Philippine government guidelines, IPA Philippines adjusted the qualitative research approach in order to mitigate the impact on the ongoing research and engagement with the Supreme Court. In compliance with strict quarantine measures and restrictions on travel and in-person meetings, we used video calling technology to conti...
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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September 10, 2020
Spanish
La efectividad de las recomendaciones de mitigación de COVID-19, como el distanciamiento social y el uso de mascarillas, depende fundamentalmente del cumplimiento por parte de las personas, especialmente de los adultos jóvenes, quienes tienen menos probabilidades de sufrir complicaciones graves por el virus, pero más probabilidades de infectarse y propagarlo. En Colombia, los investigadores están trabajando junto con IPA para entender mejor el cumplimiento de las recomendaciones de mitigación del COVID-19 por parte de los adultos jóvenes y evaluar la efectividad de varias intervenciones informativas para impulsar su cumplimiento.
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Brief
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September 03, 2020
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We use a randomized experiment to compare a workforce training program to cash transfers in Rwanda. Conducted in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program not only relative to a control group but relative to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries. While the training program was successful in improving a number of core outcomes (productive hours, assets, savings, and subjective well-being), cost-equivalent cash transfers move all these outcomes as well as consumption, income, and wealth. In the head-to-head costing comparison cash proves superior across a number of economic outcomes, while training outperforms cash only in the production of business knowledge. We find little evidence of complementarity between human and physical capital interventions, and no signs of heterogeneity or spillover effects.
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Working Paper
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September 03, 2020
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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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September 02, 2020
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We examine some effects of Universal Basic Income (UBI) during the COVID-19 pandemic using a large-scale experiment in rural Kenya. Transfers significantly improved well-being on common measures such as hunger, sickness and depression in spite of the pandemic, but with modest effect sizes. They may have had public health benefits, as they reduced hospital visits and decreased social (but not commercial) interactions that influence contagion rates. During the pandemic (and contemporaneous agricultural lean season) recipients lost the income gains from starting new non-agricultural enterprises that they had initially obtained, but also suffered smaller increases in hunger. This pattern is consistent with the idea that UBI induced recipients to take on more income risk in part by mitigating the most harmful consequences of adverse shocks.
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Working Paper
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September 02, 2020
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This document provides application instructions for the Peace & Recovery (P&R) Program's request for off-cycle proposals on homicide reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean. 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 this request for proposals, please see this overview document.
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Report
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September 01, 2020
English
In sub-Saharan Africa, wage jobs are rare, and a vast majority of young people are engaged in low-productivity occupations. Many governments attempt to upgrade traditional apprenticeships to help improve youth opportunities for productive employment. There is limited evidence on the direct and indirect effects of these formal apprenticeships. This study evaluated the impacts of an apprenticeship program subsidizing formal apprentices placed in firms and offering them theoretical training.
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Brief
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August 26, 2020
French
En Afrique subsaharienne, les emplois salariés sont rares, et une grande majorité de jeunes occupent des emplois à faible productivité. De nombreux gouvernements tentent de moderniser les apprentissages traditionnels pour aider à améliorer les opportunités d’emploi productif des jeunes. Il existe peu de données sur les effets directs et indirects de ces apprentissages formels. Cette étude a évalué les impacts d’un programme d’apprentissage subventionnant les apprentis formels placés dans les entreprises et leur offrant une formation théorique.
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Brief
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August 26, 2020
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Understanding how to keep vulnerable people safe from violence and trauma is critically important, yet violence research is fraught with challenges. IPA’s Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Initiative has been generating knowledge and solutions about how to reduce violence against women since 2016. This resource shares some strategies from the initiative on conducting responsible and ethical IPV research. 
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Research Resource
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August 20, 2020
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Can intergroup contact build social cohesion after war? This study randomly assigned Iraqi Christians displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to an all-Christian soccer team or to a team mixed with Muslims. The intervention improved behaviors toward Muslim peers: Christians with Muslim teammates were more likely to vote for a Muslim (not on their team) to receive a sportsmanship award, register for a mixed team next season, and train with Muslims six months after the intervention. The intervention did not substantially affect behaviors in other social contexts, such as patronizing a restaurant in Muslim-dominated Mosul or attending a mixed social event, nor did it yield consistent effects on intergroup attitudes. Although contact can build tolerant behaviors toward peers within an intervention, building broader social cohesion outside of it is more challenging.
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Published Paper
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August 14, 2020
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Experiments are increasingly used to better understand various aspects of civil conflict. A critical barrier to peace is often conflict recurrence after a settlement or other attempt to end fighting between sides. This chapter examines the growing literature on experiments in post-conflict contexts to understand their contributions and limitations to our understanding of the dynamics in this period. It argues that work on post-conflict contexts takes two different perspectives: a peace stabilization approach emphasizes special problems from civil conflict, including how to sustain peace agreements, while a peace consolidation approach emphasizes problems common to statebuilding, including how to reconstruct communities. Both seek in part to prevent conflict recurrence, though, and that is the focus of this chapter. Although more existing theory links stabilization programs with enduring peace, more existing experiments examine consolidation programs. Both approaches would benefit from...
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Published Paper
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August 14, 2020
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There are approximately 70.8 million forcibly-displaced people worldwide, including 26 million registered refugees, about half of whom are children. Turkey has received more than 3.5 million refugees since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, making it the country with the highest number of Syrian refugees. More than 1 million Syrian children live in Turkey as of 2020. To encourage access to education, the Turkish Ministry of Education made state schooling available to refugee children. However, many Turkish residents worry that this policy harms the school environment by increasing peer violence and facilitating social segregation along ethnic lines. Faced with these new challenges, teachers need guidance on how to maintain the quality of the learning environment. Well-developed social skills are vital to building not only cohesive classrooms but also communities and economies, as they allow members of society to communicate effectively and work together. One of these skill...
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Brief
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August 11, 2020
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The researchers evaluate the impact of an educational program that aims to build social cohesion in ethnically mixed schools by developing perspective-taking ability in children. The program is implemented in Turkish elementary schools affected by a large influx of Syrian refugee children. The research team measures a comprehensive set of outcomes that characterize a cohesive school environment, including peer violence incidents, the prevalence of inter-ethnic social ties, and prosocial behavior. Using randomized variation in program implementation, the researchers find that the program significantly lowers peer violence and victimization on school grounds. The program also reduces the likelihood of social exclusion and increases inter-ethnic social ties in the classroom. The researchers find that the program significantly improves prosocial behavior, measured by incentivized tasks: treated students exhibit significantly higher trust, reciprocity, and altruism toward each other as well...
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Published Paper
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August 06, 2020
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As part of IPA’s response to COVID-19, many existing and new data collections have shifted to remote data collection modes including computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), interactive voice response (IVR) and SMS surveys. These remote data collection modes allow research to continue, but there are many open questions about whether these types of data collection can effectively substitute for face-to-face surveying. Research on remote survey methods in low- and medium-income countries (LMICs) has been conducted intermittently over the past decade. This brief provides information on existing research on survey incentives in LMICs. It investigates how incentives may affect survey responses through outcomes beyond response rates such as sample composition changes and changes to response behavior. It provides suggestions on mechanisms that these effects may operate through as well as some suggestions for future research.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
July 31, 2020
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COVID-19 has resulted in many challenges for high-quality data collection. To this end, the Global Research and Data Support (GRDS) team at IPA has compiled best practices gleaned from over 50 remote survey data collections that IPA has conducted into a remote surveying handbook. This handbook describes ways to adjust common protocols and tasks needed to successfully implement a survey data collection. It focuses specifically on collecting data using computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), but also covers general details around interactive voice response (IVR), SMS, and web surveys. It pays special attention to the context of COVID-19 and strategies to maintain data quality during a pandemic. This handbook assumes some technical knowledge and familiarity with survey data collection. It is intended for researchers, but details the often-neglected skills of managing remote data collection, including the logistics of implementation and use of technical tools that are central to col...
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
July 31, 2020

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