Policy Research Engagements

EPoD promotes the effective design of public policy through its unique approach to research engagements. Working in a variety of sectors and policy areas, EPoD researchers collaborate directly with relevant policy actors to design interventions informed by theory and existing evidence. These interventions are then rigorously tested, generating policy lessons that feed back into theory and lead to the development of new hypotheses. This process contributes to a cycle of continuous policy improvement.

Projects are conducted in partnership with researchers from across Harvard, from other universities in the U.S., from research institutions abroad, and from public sector agencies. They are funded through a variety of public and private sources, and findings from many of the studies are published in leading economics and public policy journals, in addition to being covered in a range of popular media outlets.

 

Finance

Fighting Poverty with Microfinance in Kolkata, India: Evaluating Product Design
Policy Partner: Village Financial Services – Kolkata, India
Researchers: Rohini Pande and Erica Field (Duke)
Research Partner: Centre for Microfinance, IFMR – Chennai, India
Funding: ExxonMobil through the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS, International Growth Centre

Evaluating the Promise of Microfinance for the Poor: Evidence from Rural India
Policy Partner: Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services (KGFS) – Tamil Nadu, India
Researchers: Rohini Pande and Erica Field (Duke)
Research Partner: Centre for Microfinance, IFMR – Chennai, India
Funding: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Templeton Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation through the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), Gates Foundation

Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Rural Poor
Policy Partners: Tameer Bank, Inc., Ministry of Education – Punjab, Pakistan
Researchers: Asim Khwaja, Tahir Andrabi (Pomona) and Jishnu Das (World Bank)
Research Partner: Center for Economic Research in Pakistan – Lahore, Pakistan
Funding: Templeton Foundation, National Science Foundation, ExxonMobil through the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS, Aman Foundation

 

Livelihoods

The Long-Run Effects of a Public Housing Program on Occupational Opportunities and Economic Outcomes
Policy Partner: Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) – Ahmedabad, India
Researchers: Rohini Pande, Erica Field (Duke) and Sharon Barnhardt (IFMR)
Research Partner: Centre for Microfinance, IFMR – Chennai, India
Funding: US Department of Labor

Punjab Economic Opportunity Programme: Evaluating Markets for Skill Acquisition and Employment
Policy Partner: Government of Punjab, DFID – Pakistan
Researchers: Asim Khwaja, Ali Cheema (LUMS/IDEAS), Farooq Naseer (LUMS) and Jacob Shapiro (Princeton)
Research Partner: Center for Economic Research in Pakistan – Lahore, Pakistan
Funding: DFID-Pakistan, DFID-IZA

 

Governance

Effective Targeting of the Ultra Poor
Policy Partner: Ministry of National Development and Planning – Indonesia
Researchers: Rema Hanna and Benjamin Olken (MIT)
Research Partner: J-PAL Southeast Asia
Funding: World Bank, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), AUSAID

Making Democracy Accountable, India: Voter Information Campaign in Delhi's Slums
Policy Partner: Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) – Delhi, India
Researchers: Rohini Pande, Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) and Michael Walton (Harvard)
Research Partner: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR
Funding: USAID-DIV, National Science Foundation, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Participant-Driven Evaluation
Policy/Research Partner: The SAFI Project – Laikipia Region, Kenya
Researcher: Ryan Sheely
Funding: William F. Milton Fund (Harvard), The Weatherhead Center for International and Area Studies (Harvard), Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation (Harvard)

Property Tax Experiment in Punjab, Pakistan: Testing the Role of Wages, Incentives and Audit on Tax Inspectors' Behavior
Policy Partner: Department of Excise and Taxation – Punjab, Pakistan
Researchers: Asim Khwaja, Benjamin Olken (MIT) and Adnan Qadir (IGC/LSE)
Research Partners: Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, National Bureau of Economic Research, Innovations for Poverty Action
Funding: National Science Foundation, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), International Growth Centre

Sierra Leone Child Protection Knowledge and Information Network (CPKIN)
Policy Partners: UNICEF, Sierra Leone Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, and Child Fund Sierra Leone
Researcher: Ryan Sheely
Research PartnerInnovations for Poverty Action
Funding: Oak Foundation, UNICEF

 

Health & Environment

Evaluating the Impact of Living Goods Community-Based Health Promoter (CHP) Model in Uganda
Policy Partners: Living Goods and BRAC – Uganda
Researchers: David Yanagizawa-Drott, Jakob Svensson (Stockholm University) and Martina Björkman-Nyqvist (Stockholm School of Economics)
Funding: Children's Investment Fund Foundation, William F. Milton Fund (Harvard), and Harvard Center for Population

Long-run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves
Policy Partner: Gram Vikas
Researchers: Rema Hanna and Ester Duflo (MIT)
Research Partner: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR – Chennai, India
Funding: MIT Energy Initiative, Centre for Microfinance at IFMR, the Institut Veolia Environement, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation

Monitoring Hospital Staff Attendance with Multi-function Devices
Policy Partner: National Rural Health Mission – Karnataka, India
Researchers: Rema Hanna and Iqbal Dhaliwal (MIT)
Research Partner: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR
Funding: USAID

 

Education

Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS)
Policy Partner: Ministry of Education – Punjab, Pakistan
Researchers: Asim Khwaja, Tahir Andrabi (Pomona) and Jishnu Das (World Bank)
Research Partners: World Bank, Center for Economic Research in Pakistan – Lahore, Pakistan
Funding: SASHD, Knowledge for Change Trust Fund, Poverty and Social Impact Analysis Fund, BNPP Trust Fund, World Bank, National Science Foundation

Encouraging Teacher Attendance through Monitoring with Cameras in Rural Udaipur, India
Policy Partner: Seva Mandir
Researchers: Rema Hanna, Esther Duflo (MIT) and Stephen Ryan (MIT)
Research Partner: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR
Funding: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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