The Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was created in 2003 as a research center at the Department of Economics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, it has grown to become a global network of researchers that make use of randomized evaluation to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.
J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policies are based on scientific evidence and that research is turned into action.
J-PAL does this through three lines of action:
- Conduct a rigorous impact assessment: the researchers of J-PAL use randomized evaluation to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies which aim to reduce poverty.
- Sensitization policy: The group policy of J-PAL provides for the analysis and dissemination of research findings and to build partnerships with policy makers to ensure that their policies are oriented by effectiveness, by actual evidence.
- Capacity Building: J-PAL trains professionals with the expertise to carry out rigorous impact assessments, through training and joint research projects.
J-PAL is organized both through regional offices and through research areas called Programs.
The headquarters of J-PAL is in the Department of Business Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); it has also independent regional offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia hosted by the local Universities.
The J-PAL’s Programs include Agriculture, Education, Environment and Energy, Finance, Health, Labor Market, Economic Politics and Governance.
These regional offices and Programs are directed by members of the Board of J-PAL, which is composed of the researchers affiliated with JPAL and senior managers. However, the professors and researchers affiliated with J-PAL set their research program and raise funds to support their evaluations.
J-PAL and its partners strongly believe in the power of scientific evidence to understand what really helps the poor and what does not.
The research laboratory is named after Mr. Abdul Latif Jameel, the father of a former MIT student, Mr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel who has supported the Poverty Action Lab with repeated and significant donations that have allowed the center to grow and succeed.
Mr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel is also a member of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation Advisory Board.
“Empowering Social Programs: the strength of insight and impact assessment”
The workshop was developed by sharing experiences and research in health, water and education, considering the elements that contribute to the effectiveness of actions themselves.
- the insight, whose purpose is to recognize the deep needs, is the guide to a useful strategy to get the possible solution and is one of the boosts at the beginning of the activity.
- perseverance in doing, substantial basis for changing conditions,
- scientific evidence, the measure of progress in order to improve the insight, then redefine the intervention strategy to increase the impact of these same actions, in a virtuos circle.
The 3 elements described, in fact, give rise to a process that can help the public and private sectors to provide tools and services useful to collectivity. The workshop was therefore included in the official program prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the Celebrations of the Year of Italian Culture in America 2013.
The 2nd ABF workshop BREAK THE BARRIERES has brought together J-PAL researchers and the work of the Foundation in collaboration with the St. Luc partner of Haiti. In fact the Foundation considers it important to support the actions of those who work directly on site, but at the same time considers essential the work of those who, like the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, through scientific approach, evaluate, measure and direct the impact of these actions.
The opening was entrusted to Maestro Andrea Bocelli who is the creator and heart and soul of the Foundation together with MIT President, Prof. Rafael Reif and Italian Ambassador in the United States of America, His Excellency Carlo Bisogniero.
The workshop has been included among the closing initiatives of the Year of Italian Culture in USA.
“Empowering Social Programs: the strength of insight and of impact assessment” – Share experiences and research on health, water and education, considering the elements that contribute to the effectiveness of the measures.
Universities, Researchers, NonProfit Organizations, Public Opinion
In the willingness to open up to dialogue and share the results of their joint work, the Foundation and the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, organized a day’s workshop in the presence of names of international excellence in the fields of scientific and technological research and economic development.