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Innovation in Government Initiative

Supports low and middle-income countries' governments to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-informed innovations.


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The Innovation in Government Initiative is a program of MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

J-PAL’s Innovation in Government Initiative (IGI) works with governments to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-informed innovations with the potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries.

Many governments around the world are eager to use evidence to improve the effectiveness of their social programs and policies, especially when it comes to essential services like education, health, and social assistance. Meanwhile, universities and research organizations are producing and synthesizing evidence from rigorous impact evaluations that can be used to design and improve these programs. However, demand from governments and good research are not enough to change lives. Using evidence to inform change at scale also requires a deep understanding of context and systems, coupled with political will, a policy window, and implementation capacity. Identifying these opportunities and building strong partnerships to apply evidence takes time and resources.

For more than a decade, the J-PAL network and our partners have built long-term partnerships with governments around the world to increase the use of evidence in policy, and adapt and scale programs informed by evidence. Together we work with government partners on their policy priorities, helping to determine whether and how evidence is relevant to their context, supporting them in piloting programs leveraging this evidence, and building systems for data-enabled program delivery and monitoring. We believe supporting governments during this middle phase is critical to bridge the gap between the generation of promising evidence and the effective delivery of evidence-informed programs at scale.

IGI builds on the success of its predecessor initiative, the Government Partnership Initiative (GPI).

Donations fund work with policy makers on the implementation and scale-up of proven interventions of interest to national, sub-national, and municipal governments.

J-PAL is a research and policy center in the Economics department at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. J-PAL runs initiatives around the world in various sectors, funding robust research through RCTs and, based on the results over time, policy outreach and scale-up efforts around proven interventions.

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