Media Coverage
August 31, 2021

Zambia's news24 cites IPAs RECOVR survey of economic conditions in the country in coverage of factors affecting voters there.

Media Coverage
July 30, 2021

Forbes writes on a study with IPA evaluating the impact of a jobs training and placement program from the company Sama on employment and livelihood outcomes in Kenya.

Media Coverage
March 29, 2021


NPR's Planet Money economics podcast re-ran their episode, "Nigeria: You Win!" about the entrepreneurship training and competition program run in that country, which was very effective. The update features new conversations with paint seller Lariat Alhassan, and economist David McKenzie, to see how the results have held up, four years later.

Media Coverage
June 29, 2020

The Economist recently published an article on the prospects for growth in the manufacturing sector in Africa. The article cites IPA research with Chris Blattman, Stefan Dercon, and Simon Franklin which found that the majority of workers offered a factory job in Ethiopia quit after one year. 

Farmhands organizing eggs in the Philippines
June 23, 2020

By Lucia Sanchez and Matthieu Teachout

Workers from an SME chicken farm in the Philippines organizing eggs for distribution. Photo by: Neil Mirochnick  

The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent containment measures are dramatically affecting the economic activity and livelihoods of a wide array of economic agents, from large companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to informal and micro- enterprises, self-employed people, workers, and farmers. However, reliable and up-to-date information about these impacts is particularly hard to find in most low-and middle-...

Workers resting on boats in Bangladesh
April 23, 2020


Across IPA’s 22 country offices, we partner with several dozen government ministries. In recent weeks, a new policy priority has arrived on most every policymaker’s agenda: responding to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.

Many of the countries where we work are still bracing for the worst of the pandemic’s impacts, and early action is critical for saving lives and livelihoods. Our partnerships with policymakers have allowed us to see how the impacts of the pandemic will be interpreted and addressed by decision-makers globally—from strains on health systems to...

IPA International Women's Day Authors
March 05, 2020

Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, staff members from IPA’s Financial Inclusion and Small & Medium Enterprise programs are highlighting some readings they find insightful, especially as they pertain to new thinking about women’s entrepreneurship and access to finance in low- and middle-income countries.

Elizabeth Koshy, Program Manager, Small & Medium Enterprises


I really like the Household Matters paper by Arielle Bernhardt, Erica Field, Rohini Pande, and Natalia Rigol. Previous studies from Ghana and Sri Lanka had shown that...

Media Coverage
November 22, 2019

Pan-African news magazine Jeune Afrique covers Projet Emploi Jeunes et Développement des Compétences (PEJEDEC), a youth apprenticeship program in Cote d’Ivoire. An evaluation of the program found that it increased youth participation in formal internships and participating firms hired more apprentices after the program was implemented.

Media Coverage
July 25, 2019

Writing in Bloomberg, economist Noah Smith points to research on how consulting services have helped small and medium enterprises grow, including an IPA study in Mexico which found it boosted productivity and hiring.

Media Coverage
June 04, 2019

In VoxDex, researchers Marcela Eslava, John Haltiwanger, and Alvaro Pinzón discuss their findings from a study they did with IPA that compared the growth and size of manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Colombia.

Media Coverage
May 29, 2019

Fin24 highlights the complications of providing payments, jobs, and training as a means to help people escape poverty, citing an IPA study in Ethiopia. The study provided young, mostly female, low-skilled job-seekers with either cash-grants or factory jobs. While the intervention had short term effects after one year, they faded after five years.

Samasource 1.jpg
Samasource is driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy. Photo courtesy of Samasource.
May 15, 2019

By Twisha Mehta and Brennan Shearer

[Editor's note: This is a cross-posting with Samasource.] 

Samasource is driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy. Photo courtesy of Samasource.


When we talk about randomized controlled trials (RCT) in development, we’re often talking about the findings of an academic paper. But another key part is how partners think through the role that rigorous impact evaluations can play in achieving their learning goals. An understated part of a successful RCT is the internal organizational...

Media Coverage
January 28, 2019

Soumaya Keynes of The Economist and Chad P. Bown of the Petersen Institute for International Economics speak with Colombia University Business School professor Amit Khandelwal on research through IPA’s Small and Medium Enterprises initiative on export markets. He explains that trade can be difficult to randomize and explains how they managed to do it for Egyptian carpet manufacturers to see how firms evolve to meet new demand. Read more about the study here.

Media Coverage
October 18, 2018

Quartz discusses how a business plan competition in Nigeria evaluated by IPA with the World Bank's David McKenzie gave $100 million to over 3,000 entrepreneurs between 2012 and 2015. The program's success points to promising evidence for spurring economic growth, and is being copied in Kenya and elsewhere. You can hear a full episode of the NPR podcast Planet Money, explaining how the program in Nigeria worked, here.

Media Coverage
January 31, 2018

In December, IPA Bangladesh and the Access to Information (a2i) Program of the Prime Minister's Office co-hosted an Evidence Dialogue on SME Development in Bangladesh. The event was widely covered by the Bangladesh media. The Daily Sun summarized the discussions at the event:

The speakers noted that effective research on SME development can play a vital role in Bangladesh's economic development and poverty alleviation. Expansion of SMEs would contribute to Bangladesh's efforts to become a middle-income country by 2021 through creating new jobs, they observed.

A PDF of this...