Can training programs in the creative industries such as music provide opportunities to help improve youths’ technical and nontechnical skills to be prepared for and be successful in the modern economy? In Colombia, researchers are evaluating the impact of a music entrepreneurship and life planning program on fostering technical and soft skills development among youth.

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Structural barriers including discrimination, gender-specific social and personal stigma, lower economic mobility and access to technology, and individual barriers including low self-efficacy and external locus of control (i.e., outcomes based on luck or chance), are among the challenges that can discourage women from resolving disputes with financial service providers when they arise. As a result, this can impede their use of key digital services.

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Understanding the level of vaccine acceptance is crucial for the design and implementation of public health campaigns to achieve mass vaccination against COVID-19. Phone surveys have been the most frequent way to collect this information, yet they pose measurement challenges that could bias the results.

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Displaced migrants who settle in new countries may encounter numerous barriers to accessing host country programs that could potentially provide helpful relief and accommodation for them. These barriers include low awareness of the program, distrust in the government, and registration bottlenecks. In Colombia, Venezuelan migrants face these barriers when registering for a migrant regularization program that grants them access to labor markets and social services.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Bangladesh Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Tanzania Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Uganda Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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Refugees and asylum seekers often struggle to find jobs in their host countries, even when they have unrestricted right to work. This is especially true in low-income countries, home to the majority of the displaced populations in the world.

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The high prevalence of digital financial fraud makes it difficult for businesses to distinguish between real communications from digital service providers and fraudulent communication. This can lead to a lack of trust in digital financial services.

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Slums and poor neighborhoods around the world are occupied by powerful criminal organizations that increasingly recruit young people. What factors lead people to join these groups, and how can governments prevent recruitment?

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Fraud in mobile banking can be difficult to detect, and consumers often do not know they were targeted until after the transaction occurred. This can lead to consumer distrust of mobile banking services, particularly for consumers who have a higher chance of experiencing fraud, like women. In Ghana, researchers are measuring the impact of fraud recognition and avoidance training on encouraging female microfinance consumers to take up mobile banking services.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Disputes over mobile money transactions between consumers and service providers often go unresolved. This may hurt consumers, prevent them from paying their bills, and reduce their trust in providers. As such, the lack of resolution can discourage consumers from adopting potentially advantageous mobile accounts. In Uganda, researchers are designing an intervention offering free legal consultation to mobile money consumers to help resolve disputes with service providers.

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There is a limited understanding of how access to formal financial services may have helped vulnerable populations cope with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did formal savings help families cope with interruptions in employment? And, did digital remittances help mitigate the financial shocks of the pandemic?

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The growth of digital financial services has been accompanied by an increase in digital fraud. This raises certain questions: How can consumers effectively raise concerns and seek help? Can analyzing social media posts and customer support artificial conversations (chatbots) provide greater insight into consumers’ experiences and ways to prevent fraud?

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High fees and lack of pricing transparency may be a barrier to accessing financial services, especially for low-income and rural populations. In Nigeria, where access to financial services is lower than in neighboring countries, the Central Bank issued regulations to limit customer fees. However, anecdotal evidence suggests these regulations are not always followed.

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent an important source of employment in many low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, finding the most effective measures to help SMEs respond and recover when faced with economic crises, like those triggered by COVID-19, is of high policy relevance.

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Democracy in many developing countries is undermined by the widespread provision of cash or goods for votes (i.e., vote buying). During the 2016 Ugandan elections, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation of an anti-vote-buying campaign to study voter behavior and electoral outcomes. While the campaign did not reduce the extent of vote buying, it had substantial effects on electoral outcomes.

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Stunting negatively affects the health, development, and future incomes of affected children as well as that of their countries. Stunting remains a major problem in Zambia. In 2018, 35 percent of children under age 5 were stunted nationwide, with much higher rates in some regions.

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