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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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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
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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 will conduct a survey of digital finance users—active and dormant— across Nigeria. The survey will cover active and dormant users of electronic payments products, mobile banking products, agent banking, and digital credit. Users of these products will be queried on key consumer protection topics including: Pricing transparency; Fraud; Experiences at agent locations; Complaints handling and redress. We will also leverage this existing survey to provide governments and organizations responding to the COVID crisis information about the financial impacts of the pandemic by measuring recent changes in financial resiliency, use of mobile money and phone-based loans, and instances of digital fraud.
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Report
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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
Spanish
¿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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¿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
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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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According to the 2019 FinAccess survey, 8.4 percent of mobile money users in Kenya report having lost funds on their mobile money accounts—and 70 percent of these cases were due to third-party phone or SMS fraud. Yet no one has unpacked why certain consumers suffer from fraud, nor why they often don’t use formal complaints channels when they suffer loss of funds or fraud. Similarly, FinAccess found that 42 percent of mobile money users could not correctly interpret the price disclosure screen, and 19 percent of digital borrowers  report issues with transparency of fees. Yet little is known how this influences financial decisions and what new information or delivery channels may impact knowledge and choice. This survey will answer these and other key questions on consumer protection in digital finance to help inform further experimentation and policy development. We will also leverage this existing survey to provide governments and organizations responding to the COVID crisis informatio...
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Report
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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
Date:
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
Date:
February 05, 2021
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COVID-19 motivated a rapid shift to remote data collection. In addition to technical hurdles associated with computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), survey implementation may require more comprehensive productivity management to ensure that samples are representative and that calls are made during different times of the day and days of the week, to ensure that individuals are not systematically excluded based on the schedules they keep (e.g. farmers or night-shift workers). IPA Uganda conducted a random digit dialing (RDD) survey on financial fraud with a completely virtual phone bank and protocols that specified extended call hours to ensure that a wide variety of respondents could be reached. To monitor performance effectively, the team integrated daily call time monitoring into high-frequency checks of survey data using the IPA-developed sctotimeuse Stata command.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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Virtual phone banks used to conduct surveys necessitate different surveyors contracts than standard face-to-face surveys. IPA Zambia modified contracts to ensure transparent and fair payment for surveyors as well as productivity-based incentives to increase productivity. Contracts include daily targets for attempted calls and completed interviews but are calculated on a weekly basis to help mitigate fluctuations in productivity associated with call attempt protocols and sampling variation.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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In a phone survey, asking individuals to give data on other members of their household is a useful way to collect data on larger numbers of people or on specific populations (such as married women or students), but it requires listing household members in a roster to determine who is being described. It is uncommon to include household rosters in phone surveys because respondents typically are not willing to spend as much time on the phone as they are in face-to-face interviews. In a recent project, IPA Colombia found that household rosters can be conducted in a short amount of time: an average of less than 3.5 minutes for households that averaged 4.1 members. This provided an opportunity to target questions to and/or about specific household members in order to create a richer, more comprehensive dataset. 
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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There is a vast literature on how incentives affect response rates as well as response quality in cross-sectional (one point in time) and longitudinal surveys (repeated observations) in higher-income countries. However, there is more limited evidence around applicability to lower- and medium- income countries (LMICs). IPA Colombia tested how the effect of an increase in incentive size affects response rates, response quality, and response distributions. Consistent with prior research, they found no significant differences in response rates, item non-response, and no pattern of differences in responses when incentive amounts were increased.
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
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January 25, 2021
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IPA Peru partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Ministries of Education in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru to study the effects of COVID-19 on educational systems in Latin America. In Peru, IPA conducted 4,939 surveys representing 2.3 percent of total pre-school and kindergarten enrollment in the country using two recruitment modes: a phone survey and a self-administered survey recruited using WhatsApp. Surveys that target caregivers of school-age children were more likely to reach women (respondents who identified as female) than men, but the way in which sample members are recruited can have a big impact on how large a majority women make up. In this case, with WhatsApp we reached an even higher share of women (91 percent versus 9 percent men) than phone (72 percent women versus 28 percent men). WhatsApp respondents were also younger. The research team hypothesized that the recruitment mode and administrative list construction combined to produce...
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
January 25, 2021
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IPA Uganda conducted a random digit dial (RDD) survey on consumer protection issues with a completely virtual phone bank and a quota sampling protocol meant to cover a broad selection of adults in the country. Quota sampling involves placing calls until a quota is reached for each combination of respondent characteristics, whose prevalence in the target population is believed to be known. It is a good way to achieve samples that are representative along key dimensions. In some cases, it can increase time and monetary costs substantively to meet quotas for rare combinations of respondent characteristics. 
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Phone Survey Methods Resource
Date:
January 25, 2021

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