On-going Projects

At J-PAL, we believe investing in rigorous research is essential to finding solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Working with implementing partners, J-PAL’s affiliated professors conduct randomized impact evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of social programs.

J-PAL affiliates have led more than 1,000 randomized evaluations across a diverse range of topics, from clean water to microfinance to crime prevention. The research group at J-PAL helps create the infrastructure necessary to support our affiliates’ research around the world.

  • Implementing Partner: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign)

    Ragui Assad (University of Minnesota), William Pariente (Université Catholique de Louvain)

    May 2019 to April 2023

    This project is evaluating the impact of the graduation approach, a program that was launched by Bureau of the Government of Bangladesh (BRAC), an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Bangladesh, and its effect on household consumption and other indicators for ultra-poor households. The pilot is being done across 2400 households in the Sohag and Assiut governorates. 

    Source of Funding: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

  • Implementing Partner: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign)

    Bruno Crepon (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique)

    Mohamed El Komi (American University in Cairo)

    July 2016 to June 2020

    What is the most effective type of microcredit product that can improve job creation in upper Egypt? This evaluation is being conducted to assess the impact of offering different types of microcredit on business creation, business growth, and income generation. This evaluation is designed so that research participants are randomly distributed into 4 groups: group 1 receives loans, group 2 receives cash grants, group 3 receives in-kind grants, and group 4 is offered no capital assistance and serves as a comparison group. 

    Source of Funding: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

  • Implementing Partner: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign)

    Bruno Crepon (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique)

    Reham Rizk (British University in Egypt)

    July 2016 to June 2020

    This study evaluates the impact of offering different types of job training on employment, income generation, and other labor market outcomes. The study addresses questions such as: is vocational training enough to improve employment rates in Upper Egypt? would it be more effective if coupled with on-the-job training and job counseling? This evaluation is designed so that research participants are randomly distributed into 4 groups: group 1 receives vocational training only; Group 2 receives vocational training and on-the-job training; Group 3 receives vocational training, on-the-job training and job counseling; and group 4 receives no training and serves as the comparison group. 

    Source of Funding: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

  • Implementing Partner: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman  (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign)

    Bruno Crepon (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique)

    July 2016 to June 2020

    This study randomly informs NGOs that their beneficiaries will be surveyed to provide feedback on their services. The study is looking to measure the outcome of NGO performance based on whether they know that they are being held accountable through beneficiary feedback. 

    Source of Funding: Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

  • Implementing Partner: National Employment Pact/ Shaghalni/ MSMEDA

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman  (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign), Bruno Crepon (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique), Mona Said (American University in Cairo)

    This project aims to improve our understanding of the contribution of job fairs in the labor market behavior of jobseekers, how job fairs can be improved to ensure higher attendance and better job matching, and if information frictions regarding job fairs and the labor market, as well as capital constraints negatively affect the job search behavior and outcomes.  

    Source of Funding: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • Implementing Partner: Education for Employment

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign),

    Jamin Speer (University of Minnesota)

    March 2016 to June 2020

    This evaluation studies how to expand employment-driven training for underprivileged youth in Egypt. The study answers questions such as: What skills and competencies are required to effectively train youth to meet labor market demands? What skills do youth need for continued career development? What employer and youth perceptions serve as significant obstacles to the employment of underprivileged youth in private companies? Which methods are most effective at recruiting youth for job training programs? The study focuses on the retail, hospitality, and information technology/business process outsourcing sectors. 

    Source of Funding: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • Implementing Partner: Education for Employment 

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign),

    Jamin Speer (University of Minnesota)

    March 2016 to June 2020

    This project has four major components: understanding skill demand, supporting the design of effective and efficient employment training program composition, methods for recruiting youth for employment training and analyzing perceptions. The project will work to link youth with the labor market by training youth on market skills in three main sectors Hospitality, Retail, and IT/BPO. It is expected to take about 18 Months and to reach 20,000 youth in the targeted areas. 

    Source of Funding: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • Implementing Partner: Education for Employment

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign),

    Jamin Speer (University of Minnesota)

    March 2016 to June 2020

    The project will evaluate sector-specific training programs in the hospitality (including tourism), retail, and information technology/business process outsourcing (IT/BPO) sectors that directly respond to employer needs. The results of this analysis are expected to inform the creation of sector-specific training curricula that are truly employment-driven (providing the soft and technical skills that are required by employers). 

    Source of Funding: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • Implementing Partner: National Employment Pact

    Principal Investigators: Adam Osman (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign),

    Abdelrahman Nagy (American University in Cairo)

    February 2017 to December 2020

    In this paper, we use a series of stated preference methods to estimate willingness to pay for certain job attributes using a sample of unemployed individuals from Egypt. As opposed to revealed preference, stated preference methods directly ask individuals about the value they assign to certain attributes and has been predominantly used in environmental economics to price nonmarket goods. We find that the value assigned by job seekers to most attributes included in the survey is very sensitive to the way their WTP was elicited. 

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

  • Implementing Partner: World Bank

    Principal Investigators: Adam (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign),

    David Mckenzie (World Bank), Aminur (World Bank)

    May 2019 to December 2020

    The main problem we are trying to address is why more firms do not expand their markets by using the new technology of digital advertising. Digital technology enables firms to overcome information and other frictions that prevent firms and customers from connecting across space. However, firms may not adopt this new technology because they lack the knowledge of how to do so, or are uncertain of the returns and consider it risky. We aim to identify which firms can benefit from engaging with and advertising on digital advertising platforms, to explore the reasons why they may not already be doing so, and to test whether input-based versus results-based approaches are most cost-effective for policy.