Can vocational education increase the wages of poor Mongolians? This study evaluates a project designed to improve technical skills and productivity to meet labor market demand in key industries (including, among others, construction, mining, electronics, mechanics, and transport). 

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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.

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Can an intensive package of support lift the ultra poor out of extreme poverty to a more stable state? Graduation programs provide ultra-poor beneficiaries with a holistic set of services including: consumption support, new livelihoods (such as chickens or goats) provided as an asset transfer along with training on management of the assets, access to savings, and coaching visits over a 24-month period.

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Improving financial literacy and access to bank accounts may help youth save, allowing them to meet current financial needs and invest in their futures. In Uganda, researchers evaluated whether offering financial education or group savings accounts to church-based youth groups increased savings.

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Government-subsidized health care is seen as a useful tool in tackling the health challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, but for it to work, people have to enroll in the program. Ghana offers universal health care, but only about a third of the population is enrolled. Some evidence suggested education about the insurance program would boost enrollment. However, a randomized evaluation in northern Ghana determined that education was not the barrier.
 
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Can online sexual health education courses improve students’ sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behavior? Do such courses also have positive effects on the peers of students who take the course? Researchers evaluated the impact of an online sexual health education course on the knowledge and sexual behavior of urban Colombian high school students. The education program led to significant impacts on knowledge and attitudes.

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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.

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Sierra Leone’s government made agriculture its top priority beginning in 2008, but policymakers lacked information about the status of the sector. In August 2009, the Government of Sierra Leone commissioned a large-scale survey to obtain accurate and credible agricultural data that could serve as a baseline for years to come.

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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.

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In Peru, a majority of children perform below their grade level in math. Researchers evaluated the impact of an innovative math skills program on kindergartners’ numeracy and ability to recognize shapes. Results showed that the program significantly improved math scores immediately after the program ended, but the impacts had mostly dissipated one year after the program ended.

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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

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Improving access to credit is thought to help small- and medium- sized businesses participate in international trade, but existing evidence on the link between financing and exportation is mixed. This study evaluated the impact of credit constraints on exporting firms by examining two policy changes in India—one in 1998 that extended subsidized credit to businesses, and another in 2000 that revoked the subsidized credit for a portion of these businesses.

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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.
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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.

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Almost a quarter of all primary school age children are not attending school in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this study in southern Mali, researchers evaluated the impact of an accelerated learning program for out-of-school children on the students’ educational achievement, home life, and continuation with schooling.  This research aimed to contribute to cost-efficient policies for improved access to, and quality of, education in Mali and beyond.

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The lack of formal financial services in rural areas may inhibit farmers from saving, investing, and smoothing their consumption. Researchers analyzed the effect of reducing barriers to saving in rural Malawi on savings behavior, investment in agricultural inputs, and consumption. They found that farmers with access to formal savings accounts preserved greater amounts of savings throughout both the harvest and planting seasons.

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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.

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Farmers across the developing world face risk from hazards such as weather, pests, and crop disease, but largely lack insurance to manage these risks. One reason for this lack of viable insurance products may be that farmers know their plots and risks better than insurers, and react accordingly. In the Philippines, researchers offered insurance on randomly assigned plots to farmers, and found that farmers preferred to insure the plots that faced more risk.

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