This year’s Economics Nobel laureates are J-PAL co-founders Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and J-PAL affiliate Michael Kremer. The J-PAL Africa team, based in SALDRU, receives academic leadership from Banerjee and has worked with all three laureates on either studies, strategy, or both.
The laureates are known to have developed and popularised the method of randomised evaluations as a tool in the formation of more effective development policy. J-PAL Africa has trained and worked closely with hundreds of researchers, policymakers and practitioners in this method.
In South Africa, J-PAL Africa, together with SALDRU’s researchers, affiliated researchers and project partners, has been particularly active in work on youth unemployment, conducting evaluations with youth, sharing evidence, and contributing to policy thinking on improving youth employment prospects. Partners in this realm include the National Planning Commission, Department of Labour, the Jobs Fund, Harambee Youth Accelerator, yes4youth and the Basic Package of Support for Youth.
Similar research work has also been designed and driven from within government, for example, the Department of Basic Education’s use of randomised evaluation methods in their work on testing the efficacy of early grade reading programmes.
J-PAL Africa and SALDRU are proud to have worked with the three laureates to bring appropriate use of the tools they have developed and popularised to South Africa and the region. Read more in Murray Leibbrandt and Laura Poswell’s Sunday Times article (available for PressReader subscribers).