In the last two decades, large numbers of Mongolian herders have migrated to the outskirts of the country’s major cities, which has led to conflicts over land and overgrazing of common pastureland. Herders may change their herding practices to better sustain the land if they own rights to it, which could also translate into bigger and healthier animals, and more income for the herders.
Do property and land rights lead to better access to credit and increased investments in one’s land? It is widely assumed so, but there is little evidence to support this assumption. In this study, researchers go to Mongolia where many recent migrants to urban areas lack property rights. Researchers are evaluating the impact of two versions of a program that provides direct assistance to households seeking to privatize and register land plots.
Youth unemployment is a major challenge in many low-income countries, and evidence suggests young women in urban areas are disproportionately affected. This study in Kenya evaluates the Girls Empowered by Microfranchising program, which connects unemployed participants with local business franchisors and provides mentoring and startup capital for participants to launch businesses.
Prices of staple foods like maize, beans, and rice vary substantially in Sub-Saharan Africa, depending on the season, country, and region. Addressing the imbalance in food supply and increasing farmer income may require a multi-pronged approach that tackles multiple barriers at once. Researchers will evaluate the impact of contract farming services and a mobile technology-enhanced trader alerts system on food markets across Uganda.
Products that remind people to save may improve individuals' ability to take future needs into account, stall unnecessary consumption in the present, and change savings behavior. Working with Ecofuturo, a for-profit bank in Bolivia, IPA developed an innovative lockbox with a daily alarm that could only be turned off by depositing money. IPA tested the impact of the alarm box technology on a the clients' savings behavior over a one-year period.
Research has shown that HIV/AIDS impacts not only the health of infected individuals, but also their financial security, and the financial security of their households, often aggravating existing poverty. Researchers will introduce unconditional cash grants, coupled with financial planning sessions, to people living with HIV/AIDS to evaluate the impact on the health and financial security outcomes of participants.
If financial education can lead to increased usage of savings products, then why don’t financial institutions deliver financial education messages as part of their advertising? One explanation for this relative lack of informational advertising is that it may make customers more likely to use savings products in general from any firm, thus yielding no direct benefits to the advertising bank.
Many governments and organizations use finance and management training as a tool to promote small and medium enterprise growth in developing countries, but it is not clear if or how information from these trainings is shared across SMEs operating in the same area. Researchers are evaluating the extent to which firms share information acquired in business skills training programs to assess whether networks of small businesses act as partners or competitors, and by extension, whether such trai
Poor sanitation in the developing world leads to childhood diarrhea, a leading cause of mortality in children under five.1 This project seeks to identify ways to increase demand and reduce prices for an improved sanitation technology, mechanical desludging.
Systems of performance pay have become increasingly common in the public sector in the last decade in both developed and developing countries. Despite advances in these programs, there is great need to generate evidence on the effectiveness of performance pay systems and on how to optimize their design to suit the health sector. This impact evaluation aimed to assist Peru’s Ministry of Health in its development of a design for a pay for performance scheme.
Small-scale farming accounts for over 90 percent of agricultural output in Sub-Saharan Africa, and agricultural productivity on these farms is low, on average. Contractually linking farmers to buyers may improve farmer profits and stimulate economic growth, but more evidence is needed on how these agreements impact farmers’ livelihoods and the crops they grow.
Adolescent girls living in low-income settings may be trapped in a vicious cycle that prevents them from attaining employment and achieving better health outcomes and reproductive autonomy. Researchers will evaluate the impact of a program in Sierra Leone that aims to address this problem by bundling health education, vocational skills training, and micro-credit.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 24 percent of the global burden of disease. While private clinics are the first source of care for many Africans, the quality of care offered in private facilities is inconsistent and often weak, and the private healthcare sector faces a wide host of challenges.
The study is designed as a survey with an embedded experiment and took advantage of Mexico's privatized social security system, which requires workers to choose their retirement investment funds (AFOREs) from an approved list. This research project will collect detailed survey data and implement a series of field experiments in order to further understand the factors that determine workers' investment choices.
There are growing concerns that American households tend to borrow too much and save too little, making it hard to meet basic needs, build assets, prepare for retirement, and pay for emergency expenses. Large debt burdens may compromise individuals and families’ ability to create a safety net or make investments for the future.
Sanitation is essential to health and welfare, but as many as 2.5 billion people in the developing world have no access to improved sanitation. In slums near Nairobi, Kenya, IPA-affiliated researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of Maryland are testing how subsidizing the cost of connecting to the sewer system and providing information about the health benefits of improved sanitation affects the number of landlords who connect to the sewer system.
Basic “pre-math” skills in young children have been shown to be important for developing later mathematics competency. In Paraguay, where math scores are lower than other Latin American countries, and where there is great variation in math abilities among young children, the government adapted a pre-math curriculum into audio lessons in kindergarten classrooms. Results showed an increase in math scores and narrowing of gaps between many demographic groups.
Despite expanding access to sanitary options such as community toilets, many individuals, especially in urban slums, continue to practice open defecation. One potential explanation is that open defecation has become an ingrained habit.
In countries like Benin, where the rural population suffers from poor health, health education is often viewed as a needed compliment to microcredit, as illness can prevent borrowers from repaying their loans. In this study, researchers partner with non-profit Freedom from Hunger and a microfinance institution in Benin to evaluate the impact on health and social outcomes of integrating health education into female only or mixed-gender group microcredit meetings.