"Eureka"—sketch by Doug Parkerson
Günther Fink, Peter Rockers, Rachel Levenson
October 20, 2020


I recently came across some sketches I made a few years ago. They were crude stick-figure drawings of a fisherman in a boat with many lines in the water. But unlike a normal fisherman, this one never reeled in the fish that he hooked. His job, as he saw it, was to experiment with different bait, tackle, and techniques to see what would get fish to bite. But he never reeled them in.

When I made the sketches, I’d been working for a decade with IPA on dozens of randomized impact evaluations in Latin America and Africa, first as a research coordinator and country director and...

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...

Media Coverage
August 31, 2020

NPR’s Goats and Soda podcast covers the long-term impact of Nobel Prize winner, Michael Kremer, and Edward Miguel’s study evaluating school-based deworming in Kenya. Kremer, Miguel, and co-authors Sarah Baird, Joan Harmony, and Michael Walker have released the 20-year results, which suggest, as Chris Udry says, “deworming is having these long-term effects on people's living standards.” However, as Seema Jayachandran notes, deworming did not raise women’s individual or household incomes.

Media Coverage
August 31, 2020

Vox’s Future Perfect features Michael Kremer and Edward Miguel’s 20-year follow-up of their school-based deworming study in Kenya, in a new paper with co-authors Sarah Baird, Joan Harmony, and Michael Walker. The results found that individuals who had received deworming treatments as children experienced improved economic livelihood as adults.

Media Coverage
August 31, 2020

Ivorian news site FratMat covers IPA’s RECOVR surveys in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, which meausured  the impact of COVID-19 across several key sectors. IPA recently shared the results as part of our RECOVR webinar series in English and French. (Note: Article in French).

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...

74% respondents on the risk of contracting COVID-19
August 20, 2020

By Luciana Debenedetti, Doug Kirke-Smith, and Jean Leodomir Habarimana Mfura

Amidst the global fight against the coronavirus, Rwanda stands apart. Early and extensive measures—a strict nationwide lockdown from March 21 to May 4, pool testing, comprehensive contact tracing, and quarantining of cases—laid important groundwork for the country’s broad-based response. Rwanda also made headlines for incorporating technology into its response in a way that few other countries did, by deploying drones for disseminating health information and using anti-epidemic robots that can screen up to...

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?

Media Coverage
July 28, 2020

The University of Michigan interviews researcher Dean Yang on his work on a survey of Mozambique households on social distancing norms supported by IPA and aimed at promoting public health safe practices to combat COVID-19.

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....

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...

Media Coverage
May 27, 2020

The Atlantic and The Economist cover the impact of COVID-19 in developing countries, mentioning IPA Bangladesh's work using phone surveys to reduce risk and raise awareness and research on the Rohingya refugee's increased vulnerability.