Odisha signs pact with Abhijit Banerjee's J-PAL for anti-poverty schemes

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The Odisha government has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abdul Lateef Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) to engage in a strategic evidence based approach to policy making.

The partnership aims at maximizing the impact of anti-poverty programmes of the state across a wide range of sectors. Under this partnership, J-PAL South Asia will provide the Odisha government with technical assistance for scaling up evidence based programmes to improve development outcomes across the state.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo who were feted with the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences recently are co founders of J-PAL.

The partnership establishes an overarching collaboration between J-PAL South Asia and the Odisha government under which J-PAL will work with several departments. Additionally, a diagnostic exercise and subsequent workshops to build state capacity in the areas of monitoring and evaluation.

The agreement was signed by Odisha's Development Commissioner Suresh Mohapatra and executive director of J-PAL South Asia Shobhini Mukherji.

J-PAL South Asia and the Odisha government will conduct an annual policy dialogue to identify the government's top policy priorities, conduct discussions to share evidence and jointly come up with innovative solutions that can be tested on the field through rigorous randomised evaluations. The topics for the policy dialogues will centre on malnutrition, women's empowerment, distress migration, health-worker performance and improving agricultural productivity.

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