On Sunday, January 15, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab Middle East and North Africa (J-PAL MENA) at the American University in Cairo and UNICEF, supported by Allianz, co-hosted a conference titled “Global Evidence for Egypt: Using Evidence to Inform Decision-Making in Egypt”.

The conference aimed to foster discussions around Egypt’s policy priorities using rigorous evidence from J-PAL’s global evidence base and identify paths to inform poverty reduction policies in Egypt. It hosted three panel discussions, which focused on generating and using evidence to guide policymaking, and evidence from randomized evaluations on human capital development and women’s empowerment, as well as financial inclusion and rural development.

It featured high-level representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood. It also included Dr. Ahmad Dallal, President of the American University in Cairo, Alison Fahey, Executive Director of J-PAL MENA at AUC, and Luigi Peter Ragno, Chief of Social Policy at UNICEF Egypt on behalf of Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.

The conference was part of J-PAL MENA at AUC and UNICEF’s Global Evidence for Egypt Spotlight Seminar Series, established in 2019 to encourage dialogues that tailor insights from J-PAL’s global evidence base of almost 1,200 randomized evaluations conducted in 91 countries, to the Egyptian context.

This dialogue aims to promote the use of evidence to design and implement effective policies and programs in Egypt across areas of social protection, gender, youth unemployment, education, and health, with children and youth being at the center of this discussion.

Rigorous impact evaluations conducted by J-PAL-affiliated professors shed light on what works and what does not work to help reduce poverty; these insights can also help improve development outcomes and can support government efforts to make evidence-informed policy decisions.

The Panel discussions centered on the topics of ‘generating and using evidence to inform policymaking in Egypt’, ‘local application of evidence on human capital development and women’s empowerment, and ‘local application of evidence on financial inclusion and rural development’.

 

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