Introducing J-PAL’s new Social Protection Initiative and sector

Photo: Ivan Mahardika | J-PAL

Authors: Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken, Emily Romano, Beatriz Velho

 J-PAL is launching a brand new sector and initiative to generate rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of social protection programs and to help partners apply evidence to high-level decision-making. 

Social protection refers to policies and programs that provide financial assistance to low-income families, insure against shocks, and break poverty traps. 

Launching the Social Protection sector

SPI will be managed within J-PAL’s new Social Protection sector. Sector co-chairs, Rema Hanna and Ben Olken, and staff will work to identify policies effective at providing financial assistance to low-income families, insuring them against shocks, and breaking poverty traps. 

In addition to funding randomized evaluations of innovations in social protection through SPI, the team will synthesize general lessons emerging from the research and support scale-ups of the most promising and effective approaches.

J-PAL and EPoD’s Social Protection Initiative

In response to this need, J-PAL will foster the generation of rigorous evidence on social protection through the new Social Protection Initiative (SPI), a collaboration with Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Through a competitive research fund, SPI will support randomized evaluations of social protection programs in low- and middle-income countries and engage decision-makers to share policy lessons from completed research. 

SPI is co-chaired by Rema Hanna and Ben Olken and supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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