Elma Saiz talks to Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee about the use of scientific evidence to improve social policies

Spain's Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, met with the co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Abhijit Banerjee, to exchange views on poverty and to thank J-PAL for the design, monitoring and evaluation of the Laboratory of Social Policy, a policy lab within the Spanish ministry that has supported the launch of new inclusion itineraries, and conducted a study on the effectiveness of the Minimum Vital Income scheme. The study was completed in November 2023 and is in evaluation stage. Key policy practices will be recommended to the European Commission next year.

“Collaboration between academics and public administrations, as has happened in Spain, is essential to contribute to the development of the most effective strategies that mitigate social exclusion," said the Minister. “J-PAL is a close collaborator and partner of the ministry. It has been a very gratifying meeting that puts our way of proceeding in terms of inclusion at the forefront, both in Europe and in a global context. The development of itineraries represents a new way of making public policies in Spain," she added.


The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, met today in the ministry with the economist Abhijit Binayak Banerjee, awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences - along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer - for their experimental studies to reduce global poverty.

The meeting has served to exchange views on poverty, inequality and new, more effective approaches in social protection policies, access to employment, educational reinforcement or digital training; aspects on which the pilot projects deployed from the Ministry have influenced.

Banerjee, through his Laboratory of Action against Poverty Abdul Latif Jameel (J-PAL), has been involved from the beginning in the monitoring of inclusion itineraries, executed by autonomous communities, local entities and entities of the Third Sector.

Especially, of those focused on reducing the coverage gap of Minimum Vital Income (IMV) and understanding the reasons why people in a situation of being able to receive the benefit have not requested it. Like the one deployed, throughout the territory, by the European Network for the Fight against Poverty EAPN Spain.

The organization has personally informed 7,505 people and has accompanied more than 2,000 in its IMV processing process.

Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones

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