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Last updated: 31 Oct, 2019  

Orissa map THMB Odisha govt signs MoU with Abhijit Banerjee founded J-PAL

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SME Times News Bureau | 31 Oct, 2019
The Odisha government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia to engage in a strategic evidence-based approach to policy making.

The partnership targets to maximise the impact of anti-poverty programmes of the state across a wide range of sectors.

J-PAL is co-founded by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, joint winners of 2019 Nobel Prize in economics for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Under this partnership, J-PAL South Asia will provide the Odisha government technical assistance for scaling up evidence backed programmes to improve development outcomes across the state, said a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) here.

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 state government under which J-PAL will work with several departments to conduct policy-relevant randomised evaluations of new anti-poverty and development programmes, the statement said.

Additionally, a diagnostic exercise and subsequent workshops will be conducted to build state capacity in the area of monitoring and evaluation.

The MoU was signed by Odisha Development Commissioner Suresh Mahapatra and Executive Director of J-PAL South Asia Shobhini Mukerji in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

The Chief Minister expressed hope that this partnership will result in actualising Team Odisha's efforts to transform the state by addressing its growing aspirations.

"J-PAL South Asia is very excited to enter into collaboration with the government of Odisha, which has been focusing on transforming outcomes and improving efficiency through a number of initiatives," said Shobhini Mukerji.

"We look forward to working closely with them on this journey of advancing evidence informed policymaking in the state," she added.

J-PAL and the state 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 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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