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.
The workshop will point attention how it is possible to combine what is today an urgent need to a future long-term project of a community growth. Starting from a systemic project approach, passing through the measurable impact of the action and arriving to the economic development.
The case history will be pointed in to the Haitian life conditions.
Social programs can be really effective with a combination of insight and scientific evidence.
The insight as the acceptation of the understanding, the deep motivations that drive behaviors. This kind of understanding is possible only living with population, knowing them, speaking with them. But it is not sufficient to understand the real effects of the social program so only a structured and scientific evidence can measure the impact and can improve the sustainability and the efficacy as well as an economic progress.
- The insight in order to recognize the need and as a push starting (projects on field)
- The scientific evidence: to measure in order to improve impact (research)
- The long-term economic sustainability to guarantee a development based on food access for everyone concept. (microcredit)
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.