About J-PAL Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA)
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was established in 2003 as a research institute within the Economics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. At J-PAL, we believe that development can be more effective if policymakers and implementers have access to rigorous evidence of what programs and policies work or not, and why.
Currently, we have over 150+ affiliated researchers who have more than 900+ completed and ongoing evaluations in 75+ countries. These projects rigorously test the effectiveness of programs in areas including health, education, finance, labor markets, environment, governance, and agriculture.
J-PAL’s mission and activities
J-PAL’s mission is to tackle development challenges by ensuring that policies are informed by scientific evidence. We do this through three main activities:
- Conducting Rigorous Impact Evaluations: J-PAL researchers work with government agencies and local implementers to conduct randomized evaluations, in order to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies;
- Policy Outreach: J-PAL analyzes and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and effective programs are scaled up;
- Capacity Building: J-PAL equips practitioners with the expertise to carry out their own randomized evaluations through training courses and joint research projects.
Regional offices around the world
To support the above work within regional contexts, since its inception J-PAL has opened six regional offices based at leading universities in India (for South Asia), South Africa (for Africa), Chile (for Latin America and Caribbean), France (for Europe), and the US (for North America). Officially launched in 2013, J-PAL Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA) is based at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (FEB Ul).
J-PAL in Indonesia
J-PAL researchers have worked closely with policymakers to conduct rigorous evaluations of programs and to integrate their findings into policy. In the past, we have worked with the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), and the World Bank, among others. Past evaluations have explored methods to improve the targeting of social programs and reduce leakages in their delivery. Currently, several other projects—on maternal and child health, migration, and agriculture, for example—are in development or ongoing.
J-PAL SEA continues to expand its work in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region by engaging with high-level government agencies, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Social Security Agency for Health (BPJS Kesehatan) and the Ministry of Social Affairs, to conduct rigorous randomized evaluations, train local researchers, and translate findings into action.