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Odisha Govt Inks MoU With J-PAL To Maximise Impact On Anti-Poverty Programmes


31 October 2019

Debashish Maharana


Bhubaneswar: The State Government on Thursday signed an MoU with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia to engage in a strategic evidence-based approach to policy making. This partnership targets to maximise the impact of anti-poverty programmes of Odisha across a wide range of sectors.

Under this partnership, J-PAL South Asia will provide technical assistance to Odisha Government to scale-up evidence backed programmes to improve development outcomes.

In line with the 5T initiative of the State Government, this partnership aims at bringing transformation in lives of people through research based intervention in policy formulation.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been focusing on transformation of Odisha through the timely application of Transparency, Teamwork and Technology. This programme partnership has all the components of 5T with on-field application,” a press release issued by the CMO read.

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 Development Commissioner, Suresh Mahapatra and Executive Director of J-PAL South Asia, Shobhini Mukerji, at a function at Kharvel Bhawan chaired by the CM today.

Naveen expressed hope that this partnership will result in actualising Team Odisha’s effort to transform Odisha 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 different initiatives,” said Mukerji. “We look forward to working closely with them on this journey of advancing evidence informed policymaking in the state,” she added.

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.

The function was attended by the members of the Council of Ministers, Skill Development Authority Chairman, Subroto Bagchi, Mo School Chairperson, Susmita Bagchi, Chief Secretary, Asit Tripathy, Agricultural Production Commissioner, Pradipta Mohapatra and other senior officers of the State Government.

Founder and Co-founder of J-PAL Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo have been decorated with Noble Prize for Economics this year for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha

Asit Kumar Tripathy, Chief Secretary, Odisha

Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, CEO, J-PAL