Mission: To reduce global poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.
About the Organization: A research center founded in 2003 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, the Poverty Action Lab was renamed the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in 2005 in honor of the father of MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, whose family philanthropy supports the center. Anchored by a network of nearly two hundred affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL uses randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against global poverty, provides policy recommendations to governments and nonprofits, and creates open university-level online courses and in-person training programs that help people become better producers and users of scientific evidence.
Current Programs: J-PAL provides research, policy analysis, and training in ten sectors: agriculture; crime, violence, and conflict; the environment, energy, and climate change; finance; firms; gender; health; labor markets; and political economy and governance. The organization maintains a database of more than a thousand randomized evaluations conducted by affiliated researchers in eighty-four countries, as well as summaries of evaluation results and policy recommendations. In addition, the center's trainings include offerings in data analysis and economics in a variety of formats (open enrollment, custom, and online).
Website: Visitors to the site can learn more about how evidence can have an impact on policy, browse a roster of affiliated researchers, and/or search the center's database of evaluations and policy publications. They can also browse a library of resources for researchers undertaking randomized evaluations as well as those teaching the methodology to others; stay abreast of recent developments via the center's blog; and/or or support the center's work.
Funding: The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab is supported by Community Jameel, foundations, government agencies, and individuals.