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Global Poverty

Global poverty will be a reoccurring topic within my blog, given that it is one of my greatest interests and hopefully, will be one of my greatest contributions within my lifetime. If someone told you that the money you are about to invest towards an ad campaign will not provide you the necessary ROI metrics, would you still invest? You would likely conduct further market research to fully understand your customer’s requirements/needs and then tailor your investment in such a manner that it will achieve your goals.The same parallel applies to anti-poverty efforts, in which today, aid organizations often don’t apply enough of a data-driven, scientific approach to fully understand the cause and effect of their aid.

Enter the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a network of 64 affiliated professors around the world who are united by their use of Randomized Evaluations (REs) to answer questions critical to poverty alleviation. Started as a center in the department of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), J-PAL has now regional offices in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America and more than 300 projects in 45 countries. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence. They do so by conducting rigorous impact evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs  and policies aimed at reducing poverty; by building capacity of local development organizations to become better producers and consumers of such evidence; and by informing policymakers of the results of the research so that the most effective, and cost-effective programs can be scaled up.

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