Everyone’s invited: J-PAL social inclusion focus aims to break the “cycle of disadvantage”

Tackling social inclusion will be a new priority for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) after the launch of its latest initiative earlier this year.

By focusing on the barriers to social inclusion, including education, youth unemployment, housing, and immigration, J-PAL aims to find new ways of “breaking the cycle of disadvantage”. The initiative will be led by J-PAL’s Europe office in the Paris School of Economics and be supported by Community Jameel, which has been associated with J-PAL since 2005 and will appoint a representative to the governance committee of the initiative.

Initially focused on Europe, J-PAL will leverage insights gained for the benefit of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. It also builds on J-PAL’s existing projects across the region, including research in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Morocco, where local partnerships are supporting the development of policy-driven research, the results of which inform local policymaking.

A World Bank special report in 2013 suggested a cycle of poverty in the Middle East is leading to high-school drop-out rates, unemployment, and perpetual disadvantage.

Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “The work of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab touches on key issues such as youth employment, heath, and education.  

With this new initiative we aim to get to the heart of the problem by working closely with private and public sectors, bringing together respected experts from around the world, and providing the evidence that helps inform local decision-making.”

Founded at MIT’s Department of Economics in 2003, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab now includes more than 140 affiliated professors from more than 40 universities across the world.

To date, J-PAL affiliated researchers have conducted more than 860 evaluations in 80 countries, and more than 300 million people have been reached by programs tested and found to be effective through J-PAL evaluations.

For more information on J-PAL, visit www.povertyactionlab.org.

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