The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)


Development Cooperation

1st Edition

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category has gone in this inaugural edition to the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This laboratory uses scientific techniques to assess the effectiveness of development assistance funding.


JPAL has successfully promoted the scientific evaluation of development interventions by using randomized trials applied to areas including education, health and financial markets. This method has been shown to be a valuable tool for answering specific policy questions. By synthesizing scientific contributions to development using experiments and building on field experience, the work of J-PAL has led to the expanded use of this approach by development practitioners and researchers. The method has been extended to policy questions where nobody had previously thought to use it and, in some cases, has led to important policy actions.