Governments, NGOs, firms, funders and policymakers can now quickly understand and benefit from the lessons learned from leading-edge research, thanks to the launch of the new Policy Insights program from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
J-PAL’s Policy Insights program is a series of brief publications highlighting the theories, results and insights of research from around the world in J-PAL’s nine sectors: agriculture; crime, violence and conflict; education; environment and energy; finance; gender; health; labor markets; and political economy and governance.
The Policy Insights library, which was launched in May 2018, contains a unique range of detail to help governments and other shape policy and practice around evidence-based research. Some of its latest topics include:
- Credit’s limited impact on smallholder farmer profitability
- Reducing energy and water use through information and social comparisons
- Increasing college access by making the application process easier
Each Insight is compiled by extensive searches for published and working papers around the world using Google Scholar, peer-reviewed journal portals, online evaluation databases, and existing literature reviews.
These are drawn together by J-PAL’s Sector Chairs and staff. They also include a summary of their perspective on the evidence around a specific topic, as well as highlighting open questions or areas of debate where applicable.
The authors of all studies cited in each Policy Insight can also provide input on the publication, while each Insight will also be updated as the relevant body of evidence grows.
Benjamin Olken, Director of J-PAL, said: “Policy Insights … offer a perspective on the important takeaways from the growing evidence base on highly policy-relevant topics, and provide some direction for policymakers seeking to inform policy with scientific evidence.
When combined with a detailed understanding of context and program implementation, we hope these insights can be practical inputs for policy and program design.”
He added: “Over time, we hope this can become a go-to resource for policymakers looking for a quick synopsis of the state of the evidence on a wide range of topics.”