MineduLAB is an innovation lab for education policy housed within the government of Peru. The lab pilots cost-effective innovations and rigorously evaluates them, allowing the Ministry of Education to use evidence to improve children’s learning throughout the country. The lab employs a policy cycle that tests and refines the innovations, using the Ministry’s own administrative data to evaluate them.

Over its first two years, IPA and J-PAL provided technical advice to MineduLAB. During the design phase, we supported the lab to map existing administrative data for use as outcome measures, consult Ministry of Education staff to find possible innovations for testing; and develop proposals for implementation and research. During the set-up phase, we also provided impact evaluation training, supported the creation of a directory of researchers, and developed an operational manual. The second year of our assistance focused on capacity building: the lab was formally launched and now operates as a regular, institutionalized part of the Ministry of Education.

In its first two years, MineduLAB implemented and evaluated nine educational innovations, of which two have been scaled up nationally based on their results. In 2017, the lab opened its third innovation round and received 50 proposals from education policymakers, academic researchers, and social enterprises, selecting four new innovations to join its portfolio. That success led to a replication within Peru’s Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, with IPA and J-PAL to provide technical assistance to the new lab.