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MYRA Distinguished Lecture(6) by Mr.Dhaliwal | Dec. 26, 2017

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 The Trustees, the Governing Board, the Faculty and the Students of the MYRA School of Business cordially invite you to the

MYRA DISTINGUISHED LECTURE (6)

"From Research to Action: Using Evidence to Inform Policy" 

by

Mr.Iqbal Dhaliwal

Deputy Executive Director

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Economics Department

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge

 

Presided by

Mr.D.V.Prasad, IAS

Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka

and Development Commissioner

 

Mr. Iqbal Dhaliwal is the Deputy Executive Director of The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), MIT, Cambridge, USA and coordinates the work of all of J-PAL’s verticals including Research, Education, Training, Policy, Communications, Administration and Finance. He works with the leadership of J-PAL’s eight sector programs and six regional offices to help formulate and execute their strategy. He is a member of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee that lays out J-PAL's overall vision and provides guidance and oversight to staff worldwide. He is also the Co-Scientific Director for J-PAL’s South Asia regional office and Co-Chair of J-PAL's Government Partnership Initiative that funds innovative research, scale-ups, and partnerships aimed at institutionalizing evidence-informed policymaking in governments.

As the founding Director of J-PAL’s Policy and Communications group, Iqbal worked with affiliates, staff, and policymakers in governments, development organizations, foundations and NGOs to disseminate the policy implications of research, identify new field evaluations and implement the scale-up of successful programs.

Before joining J-PAL in 2009, Iqbal was a Director in the Economic Analysis practice of a consulting firm in Boston where he managed numerous engagements involving antitrust issues, regulation, and strategy. Earlier, he was a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) where he worked on many policy issues. As the head of one of the state’s largest sub-divisions (county government), he led a large bureaucracy that implemented numerous development programs in the field.

Mr. Dhaliwal received the Director's Gold Medal for standing first in the nationwide Civil Services selection and training at India's National Academy of Administration. He received the Dean's Fellowship at Princeton University and the gold medal for standing first in the college in his undergraduate program. He has a B.A. (Honors) in Economics from University of Delhi, an M.A. in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, and an MPA (Development Studies) from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

 

Date & Time: December 26, 2017 | 11:00 AM

Venue: Athena Auditorium, MYRA

 You are cordially invited

 

Dr. Shalini Urs

Chairperson, MYRA School of Business

Dr. Sudhindra Seshadri

Senior Associate Dean, MYRA School of Business

 

Report

 

MYRA Distinguished Lecture (6)

Mr. Iqbal Dhaliwal

Deputy Executive Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge

December 26, 2017 | 11:00 AM | Athena Auditorium, MYRA School of Business

“Let evidence drive policy and not assumptions—says Mr.Dhaliwal, Development Expert from J-PAL, MIT, USA”

Let data-driven randomised evaluation speak for what works or does not and not intuition or assumptions. These were the key take away of the 6th Distinguished Lecture —‘From Research to Action: Using Evidence to Inform Policy' by Mr. Iqbal Dhaliwal – Deputy Executive Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), MIT today the MYRA School of Business. His plea was—Use results to improve, scale-up and institutionalize change.

Mr. Dhaliwal laid out interesting cases based on the J-PAL's work in Karnataka to drive the message that hard evidence speaks volumes about the impact of various government programs — whether The MGNREGA or Microfinance Schemes.  Iqbal Dhaliwal started his address giving an overview of JPAL as an institution with a graphic overview of the correlation of Aid with Development. He also laid the case for Microfinance with its share of support and critique. According to Mr. Dhaliwal, with no correlation found between Aid and Development, the need was felt to find out what worked and why it has worked - which led to evidence-based policy making.

Mr. Dhaliwal also shared an overview of 800 projects through 170 associated faculty members across more than 50 universities in 78 countries. In India, JPAL has completed 200 projects in association with various academic institutions and is considered an authority in evidence-based policy decisions.

Iqbal Dhaliwal spoke in detail about one study—an extensive, five-district randomized evaluation on improving health outcomes and service provider attendance in rural India specific to the state of Karnataka – a field research study done in collaboration with Rema Hanna of Harvard Kennedy School. This study evidenced “How Absenteeism can have huge consequences for the poor and for governments” The central learning from this field research is — mere monitoring without either incentives or disincentives do not yield desired outcomes.

Mr. Dhaliwal presently coordinates the work of all of J-PAL's verticals including Research, Education, Training, Policy, Communications, Administration, and Finance. He works with the leadership of J-PAL's eight sector programs and six regional offices to help formulate and execute their strategy. He is a member of the Board of Directors' Executive Committee that lays out J-PAL's overall vision and provides guidance and oversight to staff worldwide. He is also the Co-Scientific Director for J-PAL's South Asia regional office and Co-Chair of J-PAL's Government Partnership Initiative that funds innovative research, scale-ups and partnerships aimed at institutionalizing evidence-informed policymaking in governments. He is a board member of the NGO Noora Health and an advisory board member of the NGO Evidence Action.

Mr. Dhaliwal is credited to have received the Director's Gold Medal for standing first in the nationwide Civil Services selection and training at India's National Academy of Administration. He received the Dean's Fellowship at Princeton University and the gold medal for standing first in the college in his undergraduate program. He has a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from University of Delhi, an M.A. in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, and an MPA (Development Studies) from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Prof. Shalini Urs, Chairperson of MYRA, set the context of the talk about the Triple Bottom Line philosophy of MYRA and the focus on Data Analytics by highlighting how Dhaliwal's talk and J-PAL work bring the data-driven decision making and nudging consumers approaches and tools to develop programs.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Dr. Sudhendar Hanumantha Rao, Professor of Information Systems, MYRA School of Business thanked Mr. Dhaliwal for his deep insights on this rather revolutionary evidence-based policy making as transformative not only to the student community but also budding Ph.D. researchers at MYRA at large.

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