The disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected and killed millions of people around the world. Individual behavior change is a critical element of containing the spread of the disease, requiring individuals to adhere to recommended health behaviors. In the United States, researchers are measuring the impact of a quiz-style information campaign on people’s learning and adherence to COVID-19 health protocols.

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Ensuring people know and follow health recommendations is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19. In Zambia, researchers are measuring the impact of a peer information sharing strategy on people’s learning and adherence to COVID-19 health protocols. This study is part of a three-country research program aiming to find evidence on the most effective strategies to communicate health measures.

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The Supreme Court of the Philippines has introduced several reforms to address the longstanding issues of high volume of pending cases and severe delays in case disposition, which consequently deny citizens the ability to access swift and fair justice. One of these reforms is an electronic case management (eCourt) system that records case information and allows courts and other judicial stakeholders to monitor case incidents in real time.

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The Supreme Court of the Philippines has introduced several reforms to address the longstanding issues of high volume of pending cases and severe delays in case disposition, which consequently deny citizens the ability to access swift and fair justice.

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The Supreme Court of the Philippines has introduced several reforms to address the longstanding issues of high volume of pending cases and severe delays in case disposition, which consequently deny citizens the ability to access swift and fair justice.

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Urban armed groups, especially criminal gangs, are a growing threat to peace and economic growth in cities across the world. These groups often exert state-like powers, enforcing contracts, policing, and taxing businesses in the areas they informally govern.

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Teacher evaluation

Professional advancement often depends on subjective performance reviews, especially in developing countries where objective data on performance may not be available. But subjective reviews may be susceptible to personal biases based on characteristics like gender. To better understand this in the education sector in Ghana, researchers compared both principals’ reviews and teacher self-assessments of effectiveness to an objective measure:  increases in student test scores.

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The opening of Nigeria’s mobile money system to non-banks and new mobile banking products from commercial banks presents the potential for digital finance to take off in the country. To maximize the benefits of digital inclusion, expansion of use should occur alongside sufficient consumer protection policies and responsible product design.

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A large and growing segment of the Bangladesh population are digital financial service users, yet little has been done to investigate the range and prevalence of consumer protection issues that occur with these services such as fraud, hidden fees, and ineffective complaints mechanisms. In other markets, evidence suggests some customer segments, for example women and lower income customers, may experience these issues at higher rates than the population at large.

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How can community-oriented policing practices be implemented in a way that sustainably increases trust in the police and reduces crime in areas where state legitimacy is low? In the Philippines, researchers examined the effects of a community policing program on attitudes towards the police and public safety outcomes. The intervention combined community engagement with problem-oriented policing.

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Vocational education programs are a popular strategy aimed at improving labor market outcomes for youth, but there is mixed evidence about their actual benefits. Researchers evaluated the impact of admission to one of Mongolia’s formal vocational training programs on students’ educational attainment, employment, and earnings. Admission led to higher educational attainment and employment for applicants, especially for women, and increased earnings for women.

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Evidence suggests that socio-emotional skills, such as empathy and emotional regulation, play an important role in life outcomes, but little evidence exists on the impact of teaching these skills to very young children. In Colombia, researchers are evaluating how an early childhood curriculum with a socio-emotional focus impacts children’s competencies in empathy, inclusion, compassion, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, emotional regulation, generosity, and advocating and car

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Effective engagement with religious leaders to persuade them to encourage compliance with health measures could be critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since religious gatherings carry a high risk of infection.

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In Myanmar, a large proportion of the population is rural and their main livelihood is agriculture. However, according to a survey conducted by IPA, more than half of rural families are landless and women particularly face many obstacles to accessing land. Researchers partnered with Landesa, a nonprofit,  and the Government of Myanmar, to measure the impact of a land allocation program on food security, decision making, land ownership, and women’s land rights.

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Lack of access to finance limits small business growth—a problem that is exacerbated for Muslim business-owners, many of whom do not take out traditional loans for religious reasons. Innovations for Poverty Action supported research in Pakistan on a lease-based product that features more flexible repayment schedules, allows businesses to share risk with a large microfinance institution, and complies with local Islamic financial norms.

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The transition from school to the labor market is a crucial step in the life of young people. Yet youth unemployment is much higher than that of adults in many countries around the world, including Rwanda. Challenges include a mismatch in skills paired with difficulties for young job seekers to signal their motivation and productivity to potential employers.

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Without special attention to creating economic opportunities for ex-combatants, they may be more likely to join rebellious groups, commit crime, and otherwise threaten political stability. In Liberia, researchers tested the effect of an intensive agricultural training program that also provided agricultural supplies and psychosocial counseling on employment activities, income, and socio-political integration.

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Since March 2020, a team of researchers1 has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Togo to help guide their humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis. This page provides a short, non-technical summary of those efforts.

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To meet their saving goals, farmers often rely on informal saving mechanisms and commitment devices. But how much do farmers value these saving services? In partnership with a local dairy cooperative, researchers utilized a combination of evaluations and surveys to measure dairy farmers’ responses to various price and timing incentives.

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A body of research supports cash transfers as a way to improve the lives of vulnerable and poor populations, but few studies have examined how the impacts change over time. In addition, poor rural households face institutional and market obstacles, and transfers alone may not be enough to overcome these barriers.

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