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.

Media Coverage
May 27, 2020

Yale News covers Professor Mushfiq Mobarak's work with IPA and others to measure and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

study type.png
May 11, 2020


By Tom Wein

Editor's note: This cross-post originally appeared on Medium. 

I had previously noted that the Global South was missing in studies of coronavirus, according to a couple of major databases compiling surveys. In one database, just 1/230 projects looked specifically at an African country.

That was never the whole story; researchers in every country have been launching projects. Powerhouse research implementers Innovations for Poverty Action have responded particularly strongly to the crisis. They’ve now launched their RECOVR research hub.


Sierra Leone surveyors
Oeindrila Dube, Darin Christensen, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi, Maarten Voors
March 31, 2020

Darin Christensen, Oeindrila Dube, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi, and Maarten Voors just released two papers (main paper here and companion paper here, with a quick summary of the project here) related to the 2014-15 Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. Their findings have implications for health systems in the current COVID-19 crisis, particularly when it comes to the importance of testing—so we asked Professor Dube, of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, if she’d explain what they found.

Oeindrila Dube

Let’s start off by explaining the study...
Media Coverage
March 26, 2020

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Oeindrila Dube and Katherine Baicker discuss how lessons from the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa can be applied in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss Dube's IPA study, coauthored with Darin Christensen, Johannes Haushofer, Bilal Siddiqi, and Maarten Voors, which found that two social accountability interventions led more patients to report Ebola cases and resulted in lower mortality rates. 

March 18, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across the globe, we at IPA—like all of you—have been closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and adapting our lives and our work as a result. We have been consulting widely to determine the best course of action to keep our staff and the communities they interact with as safe as possible, and to do this we have benefitted from the best practice advice of other international organizations and health and safety experts. 

In addition to the first and most urgent priority of protecting health and safety, we feel it is our...

Media Coverage
November 22, 2019

L'Economiste du Faso covers a study in Burkina Faso evaluating the effect of a radio campaign promoting family planning practices. The campaign increased contraceptive use—and in some cases, resulted in more consistent use—and countered myths about the potential side effects of contraception.

The results of this study were presented at a dissemination event in Ouagadougou on November 7.

Modern Man project
Enumerators conducting surveys for the Modern Man Challenge evaluation.
Ellen Bates-Jefferys
Jeannie Annan
August 19, 2019

This cross-posting is the third in a series on the International Rescue Committee and IPA's Modern Man Challenge study. The first post in the series is available here, and the second post is available here. 

Enumerators conducting surveys for the Modern Man Challenge evaluation.CREDIT: Ellen Bates-Jefferys  

Of the interventions and programs that seek to reduce intimate partner violence, a limited number of those with the potential for scale have been rigorously studied.

Since 2016, the Airbel Center at the International Rescue Committee and Innovations for Poverty...

Media Coverage
July 25, 2019

The Dhaka Tribune recaps a roundtable in which IPA Bangladesh Country Director, Dr. Mohammad Ashraful Haque, presented baseline findings of a survey on adolescent well-being, assessing mental, physical, and sexual/reproductive health as well as educational and economic development. The survey also noted the role of violence in the everyday lives of Dhaka adolescents, finding: 68% of married adolescents experience intimate partner violence, 82% of adolescents report experiencing corporal punishment at school, and 62% of female caregivers use physical punishment to discipline underage family...

Media Coverage
July 25, 2019

Researchers Doug Parkerson (IPA), Pia Raffler (Harvard University), and Daniel Posner (UCLA) write in VoxDev on an evaluation of Uganda's Accountability Can Transform (ACT) Health program, which mobilizes community members to monitor healthcare service delivery. The study found that while this participatory approach marginally improved the delivery of healthcare services, its effects have significant limitations.

Media Coverage
May 28, 2019

Researchers David Evans and Fei Yuan review evidence from around the world showing that there is no need to focus just on girls’ education. Most interventions that improve education for girls also help boys. They cite an IPA study in Kenya in which providing scholarships to high-performing sixth-grade girls helped classroom performance in general, not just for girls.