Odisha inks MoU with J-PAL to boost anti-poverty programmes

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to maximise the impact of anti-poverty programmes, the Odisha Government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia, which has been co-founded by Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.

Under this partnership, J-PAL South Asia will provide technical assistance to the State Government for scaling up evidence-backed programmes to improve development outcomes across Odisha. Commensurate with the 5T programme of the State Government, this partnership aims at bringing transformation in the lives of people through research-based intervention in policy formulation.

The partnership also establishes an overarching collaboration between J-PAL South Asia and the Government of Odisha under which J-PAL will work with several departments, including, but not limited to, Labour, Education, Health, and Women and Child Development, to conduct policy-relevant randomised evaluations of new anti-poverty and development programmes. Additionally, a diagnostic exercise and subsequent workshops will be conducted to build state capacity in the area of monitoring and evaluation.

The agreement was signed by Odisha Development Commissioner Suresh Mahapatra and Executive Director of J-PAL South Asia, Shobhini Mukerji at a function at Kharvel Bhawan here in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The CM expressed his hope that this partnership will result in actualising Team Odisha’s effort to transform Odisha by addressing its growing aspirations.

J-PAL South Asia and Government of Odisha 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 field-tested through rigorous randomised evaluations. Topics for the Policy Dialogues include malnutrition, women’s empowerment, distress migration, health-worker performance and improving agricultural productivity.

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