While informal savings groups are common around the developing world, their formats can limit flexibility in responding to members’ needs, particularly when it comes to loans or coping with unexpected expenses. In Mali, Oxfam’s Saving for Change (SfC) program allows groups of women to form a savings group together. Members can also apply for loans from the group, to be paid back with interest. When the group ends, the pool of funds with the loan interest is redistributed to the members.
Country:
Program area:
Status:
Results
IPA is working with Mumuadu Rural Bank (MRB) to study the response to and impact of a new account labeling savings product. Working with Susu customers and Susu agents, the study compares the success of this new product with the current Susu savings product. The new savings product has only a psychological difference: it allows the labeling of funds within an account so that deposits can be directed to a specific goal, such as health, education or business savings.
 
Country:
Program area:
Status:
In Progress

Does linking teachers' pay to students' test performance improve educational outcomes, or just increase “teaching to the test”? This study examines the effects of a teacher incentives program on both teacher behavior and student test scores in Kenya. Student test scores increased significantly during the study period, but evidence suggests that this improvement came through test-preparation sessions outside of normal class hours.

Country:
Program area:
Status:
Results

Over the past decade, many developing countries have expanded primary school access, but improvements in school access and enrollment may not always translate into improved learning outcomes for all students if the quality of education is poor. Researchers evaluated the impact of the Balsakhi Program, a remedial tutoring education intervention implemented in schools in Vadodara and Mumbai, India, on student learning.

Country:
Program area:
Status:
Results

Despite booming economic growth and an improved educational infrastructure in many regions in India, primary education is lagging in many remote and marginalized communities. This study estimated the effect of financial incentives on teacher attendance on students' attendance and math and language levels. The incentives increased teacher attendance and teaching time, and student test scores rose as a result.

Researchers:
Country:
Program area:
Status:
Results

This project will evaluate the impact of commitment contracts and reminder messaging on savings behaviors among low- and medium-income credit union members in Washington DC.  Traditional financial products which dominate the consumer finance market tend to operate under the assumption that consumers act in a rational manner and fail to take into account cognitive biases which can impede the realization of financial goals.

Country:
Status:
In Progress

New agricultural technologies, such as high-yielding crop varieties, offer the promise of increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies has often been slow, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Sierra Leone, researchers are testing whether price subsidies and agricultural extension training can reduce the costs of early adoption, and whether using the improved seed varieties will ultimately benefit poor farmers.

Country:
Program area:
Status:
In Progress

Political clientelism is often deemed to undermine democratic accountability and representation. This study argues that economic vulnerability causes citizens to participate in clientelism. Researchers tested this hypothesis with a randomized control trial that reduced household vulnerability through a development intervention: constructing residential water cisterns in drought-prone areas of Northeast Brazil.

Country:
Program area:
Status:
In Progress

How effective is vocational training in Western Kenya? This study leverages a longitudinal survey to examine the impact on individuals with different childhood and background characteristics. Individuals are invited to apply (and then randomly selected) for a tuition voucher. The study will also measure the demand for vocational training, and the difference between public and private sector training institutes. 

Country:
Program area:
Topics:
Status:
In Progress

Can communicating beneficiary feedback to donors augment philanthropic gifts or improve the operations of charitable organizations?

Country:
Status:
In Progress

This study assesses the willingness of households in Northern Ghana to purchase a ceramic water filter. The Kosim filter is sold by Pure Home Water (PHW), a Ghana-based NGO, and has been demonstrated to be highly effective at improving water quality without needing electricity. We will also measure the health effects of household-level water treatment in areas with high waterborne disease loads.  

Country:
Program area:
Status:
In Progress

Access to transportation is generally considered to be a fundamental determinant of economic growth and a significant factor in an individual’s health, schooling, and economic status. In Malawi, researchers studied the introduction of a daily minibus service that connected five rural villages and the nearby market town. Although a majority of households used the new bus service, demand was very sensitive to price and was never sufficient to cover operational costs.

Country:
Program area:
Status:
Results

Pages