Mission: Innovations for poverty action discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty.
Programs: School-based deworming: over 600 million school-age children are at risk of parasitic worm infection. Worm infections interfere with nutrient uptake; can lead to anemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development; and pose a serious threat to children's health, education, and productivity. Infected children are often too sick or tired to concentrate at school, or to attend at all. Worm infections are estimated to cause a loss of 200 to 524 million years of primary schooling. Parasitic worms exact a clear toll on human capital, hindering economic development in parts of the world that can least afford it. Over 400 million at-risk school-age children remain untreated. Treatment with a simple pill is universally recognized as a safe and cost-effective solution. School-based deworming programs leverage the existing and extensive infra-structure of schools and the documented importance of convenience in achieving high take-up of preventitive healthcare. Rigorous evidence shows that school-based deworming is a cost-effective solution that transforms the lives of children over the short and long term. A randomized trial in kenya in the early 2000s found school-based deworming: (1) reduces school absenteeism by 25% (2) increases hours worked by adults by 12% (3) increases future wage earnings by 23%spillover effects of treatment provide benefits to untreated school-age and preschool children as well.
dispensers for safe water and wash: chlorine kills 99. 99% of harmful bacteria, keeps water free from contamination for up to 72 hours, and reduces the incidence of diarrhea by 40%. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in kenya to compare chlorine dispensers to other chlorination options. The researchers found that 50-61% of people adopted the chlorine dispenser system compared with only 6-14% in the control group, or a nearly 10-fold increase. Adoption was sustained over time. Inspired by the sustained success of this low-cost intervention, the dispensers for safe water program was developed to scale up chlorine dispensers and provide access to safe water for millions of people. In kenya, researchers are measuring the individual and combined effects of water quality, sanitation and hygiene interventions on child health, growth and development in the first two years of life. This should confirm whether these interventions lead to lasting improvements in children's health, growth and development and whether nutrition programs are more effective when combined with these interventions.
low-income households need effective financial tools to help manage and grow their money, yet many of the financial services they can access are costly, unsafe or not well-suited to their needs. To support financial inclusion efforts around the world, ipa partners with financial service providers, governments and researchers to design and rigorously test financial services and programs encouraging healthy financial behavior among the poor.
the ultra poor (tup) - a new six-country study shows a comprehensive approach for the ultr-poor, the approximately one billion people who live on less than $1. 25 a day, boosted livlihoods, income and health. Published in science, the research tested the effectiveness of an approach known as the "graduation model" in six countries by following 21,000 of the world's poorest people for three years. The data shows this approach led to large and lasting impacts on their standard of living. The program is cost effective, with positive returns in five of the six countries, ranging from 133 pecent in ghana to 433 percent in india. In other words, for every dollar spent on the programs in india, the ultra-poor households saw $4. 33 in long-term benefits. The government of ethiopia plans to expand the program to benefit three million people through the country's productive safety net program, and the program is already being scaled up in pakistan and india. Small and medium enterprise sector (sme) - small and medium enterprises (smes) are widely seen as engines of economic growth. In developing countries, smes provide over 70% of formal jobs on average. However, smes face constraints to growth that are particularly binding in developing countries, such as limited access to finance, low labor skill levels and inefficient markets for goods. In an effort to unlock the sme sector's potential, governments and other institutions spend billions of dollars every year on programs aimed at reducing the barriers to growth. However, high-quality research on which programs successfully address the contraints to sme growth is limited, leaving decision makers without clear guidance on which programs and policies to support. The sme program at ipa works to discover and promote effective solutions for economic growth and entrepeneurshipmongolia property rights & vocational education - this study evaluates a project designed to improve technical skills and productivity in key mongolian industries including construction, mining, electronics, mechanics and transport. It will measure whether vocational training increases the wages of mongolians. Evaluating the african health market for equity (ahme) - sub-saharan africa accounts for 24 percent of the global burden of disease. While private clinics are the first source of care for many africans, the quality of care offered in private facilities is inconsistent and often weak, and the private healthcare sector faces a wide host of challenges. In this study, ipa-affiliated researchers from uc berkeley and uscf are evaluating the impact of a multi-pronged private healthcare initiative on healthcare utilization, qualtiy of care, clinic financial outcomes and child health in kenya. All other - in partnerhip with top researchers in the field, we design and implement randomized evaluations to measure the effectivenss of programs and policies aimed at helping the poor. We specialize in randomized controlled trials (rcts) because this rigorous methodology, considered the gold standard of impact evaluation design, allows us to isolate the effects of a program from other factors. Like in medical trials, researchers assign participants at random to different study groups. One or more groups receive a program (the "treatment groups") and another group serves as the comparison (or "control") group. Ipa evaluations do not simply give a passing or failing grade to programs, but rather seek to uncover and disentangle causal mechanisms and determine which adjustments will make a program more effective. Our well-established partnerships in the countries where we work, and a strong understanding of local contexts, help make our research projects successful. Our teams operating in 18 countries work on the ground to develop new studies with ngo's and government institutions interested in conducting rigorous evaluations of their programs and in testing their new ideas. Ipa has more than 1,000 research staff who implement the research on the ground. Studies range in time from months, to years, to decades. Once an intervention has proven effective in one context, we work to test it in other contexts. This replication process is an essential step on the path to scaling up effective programs. Ipa has an extensive network of more than 400 researchers from among the top universities in the world who collaborate with us in designing and conducting the evaluations. Many of these academics are pioneers in their fields of research, particularly in development economics. To date, we have designed and evaluated more than 275 potential solutions to poverty problems and have over 240 more evaluations in progress. With this experience, ipa has developed extensive expertise in conducting successful evaluations, from the initial concept stage to the sharing of results