Mental health graphic
October 19, 2020

By Juan Manuel Hernández-Agramonte, Guisselle Alpizar, María Loreto Biehl, Laura Ochoa Foschini, Olga Namen, Emma Näslund-Hadley, and Brunilda Peña de Osorio 1

Editor's note: This is a cross-post of a blog that originally appeared on IDB's blog page in English and Spanish.

With the sudden halt to face-to-face education, parents across the world juggle distance and hybrid education models. In addition to being parents and often full-time employees, overnight they suddenly also became full-time educators and classroom managers. The additional burden on parents comes at the cost...

Press Release
September 29, 2020

Imperial College London announces a new study with IPA-Ghana and Dr Elisabetta Aurino, looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures have affected children's learning, health, and food security.

Education at home
September 03, 2020

By Luciana Debenedetti, Shahana Hirji, Samuel Kembou Nzale, Cyrille Gnalega, and Ben Anderson Koffi

Despite Côte d’Ivoire’s initial success in maintaining a relatively flat case count, COVID-19 cases have quintupled over the last two months, mostly in the Greater Abidjan area. Côte d’Ivoire is also in the middle of its rainy season and landslides and floods are affecting areas that were already exposed to COVID-19, further intensifying the crisis. These twin weather and health challenges stand to further imperil economic recovery efforts, for which policymakers need timely and...

Approximately 50% children.png
August 25, 2020

By Luciana Debenedetti, Shahana Hirji, Marius Ogoukonle Chabi, and Tessa Swigart 

In Burkina Faso, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already deteriorating security situation in the country. In a country of some 20 million people, more than 921,000 people have been uprooted from their homes, and almost three million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Understanding the immediate effects of the crisis on people’s lives is critical for policymakers to plan for economic assistance and recovery.

IPA has developed the RECOVR survey to better understand such...

Proportion of households, time on education by income
August 19, 2020

By Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam and Sarah Kabay

Ghana closed its schools on March 15, 2020, as part of the country’s lockdown to address the COVID-19 pandemic. When schools reopen, they cannot simply resume business as usual. Though the Ghanaian education system and education systems around the world are facing significant challenges, research and evidence can offer some guidance on how to address them. In this blog, we use insights from IPA’s recent RECOVR survey and the TCAI and STARS research projects to provide a few suggestions for how to approach reopening schools in Ghana. 

Photo of classroom in Uganda taken during Elevate project.
August 14, 2020


What kinds of interventions could help improve schools’ and communities’ response to the coronavirus pandemic?

Research during the Ebola epidemic found that a community monitoring intervention in Sierra Leone was able to save lives when the epidemic hit, apparently through building confidence and trust in government health clinics. People were more likely to overcome fear and stigma and report to clinics for testing and treatment, which lowered death rates.

Could a similar intervention be useful for the education sector in the context of the coronavirus pandemic?

Wellbeing of Children during COVID-19
August 12, 2020

By Juan M. Hernández-Agramonte (IPA), Claudia Paola Lisboa Vásquez (OSEE, Minedu), Carolina Méndez (IDB), Olga Namen (IPA), Emma Näslund-Hadley (IDB), and Luciana Velarde (OSEE, Minedu)

Editor's note: This is a cross-post of a blog that originally appeared on IDB's blog page (in Spanish).

Following school and workplace closures and layoffs throughout the world, mental health experts caution that lengthy shelter-in-place orders may have severe effects on our socioemotional wellbeing. With all of us separated from friends, everyday interactions, routines, and structures,...

Food security
July 10, 2020

By Charles Amoatey, Elliott Collins, and Madeleen Husselman

In March, Ghana, like much of the world, adopted social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Measures included the closings of schools and universities, suspension of gatherings of over 25 people, and partial lockdowns in major urban areas. 

So far, like most West African countries, Ghana has avoided the worst of the virus’s health toll. However, in low- and middle-income countries like Ghana, the pandemic’s socio-economic consequences may exceed the immediate health ones and even cost more lives....

IMG_3592 crop.jpg
June 29, 2020


By Sarah Kabay, Olga Namen, and Stephanie Wu

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, over 188 countries instituted country-wide school closures. As a result, countless education systems and educators are trying to find alternatives to the classroom. At IPA, we support and partner with several Ministries of Education and have been looking for research and evidence that could help inform our partners during these challenges, the scope of which nobody's ever encountered before.

We started by asking ourselves, what exactly are we looking for? “Distance learning” is one of...

Media Coverage
June 25, 2020

Burkina Faso's L'Economiste Du Faso profiles an IPA study in Côte d’Ivoire with Guilherme Lichand and Sharon Wolf on using SMS messages to improve outcomes in education.

AeC Program
June 22, 2020

By Juan Manuel Hernández-Agramonte (IPA), Carolina Méndez (IDB), Olga Namen (IPA), Emma Näslund-Hadley (IDB), and Luciana Velarde (OSEE, Minedu)

Editor's note: This is a cross-post of a blog that originally appeared on IDB's blog page (in Spanish).


Most schools throughout Latin America have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the school closures, nearly 8 million Peruvian students, from preschool to high school, are stuck at home. Within a few weeks, the Ministry of Education (Minedu) developed the Aprendo en Casa (AeC) (meaning “Learn at Home”) strategy. And on...

MedGlobal volunteer in Colombia
June 17, 2020

“The government expects a presentation of the findings in nine days,” we heard over a video call from one of our in-country staff members in Mexico City. He was referring to the results of the RECOVR (Research for Effective COVID-19 Response) survey, an effort we started in April in order to put IPA’s expertise at policymakers’ disposal to support them in their pandemic response.

That moment struck us, as the urgency that was coming from our government partner is one we don’t usually hear. This was likely both the result of working on COVID-19 response, at a time in which...

IPA Côte d'Ivoire signs MoU with DGE
June 11, 2020

How do we ensure that people who already live hand to mouth aren’t starving during lockdown? Should we even lock down? Should we reopen businesses—and how? How do we do distance learning well? Are cash transfers helping people stay home? Who needs cash transfers the most? 

The policy-relevant research questions are innumerable, and the need for policy-relevant rigor has perhaps never been greater. But with over 23,000 scientific papers on COVID-19 coming out since January, we have to ask ourselves: is the research supply actually meeting the demand?  

IPA is building on...

Media Coverage
May 28, 2020

Local news outlet Frat Mat features results from an IPA study with Guilherme Lichand and Sharon Wolf on the impact of text and audio messages on student learning outcomes, parental engagement, and teacher professional outcomes in Côte d’Ivoire.

Media Coverage
March 17, 2020

Boris Bulayev, Meghan Mahoney, and Hannah Ornas of Uganda's Educate! program, which trains secondary school students in entrepreneurship and a range of soft-skills, write on the Brookings Institution's blog about their evaluation with IPA. The study found that female Educate! graduates were more likely to continue their education and to wait longer to start a family.