Excitement as Water, Air and Energy Lab launched in City

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Africa, Community Jameel and the City of Cape Town launch the J-PAL Water, Air and Energy Lab at the City's Civic Centre with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, co-founders and co-directors of J-PAL and Nobel laureates in economics, Geordin Hill-Lewis, Mayor of Cape Town in attendance. The lab will co-generate evidence and inform policy and programmes to improve access to clean air, water and energy in the City.

Kelsey Jack, scientific advisor of the Water, Air and Energy Lab, says: “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to support a culture of learning and innovation in government that will lead to better policies and programmes for people who need them most.”

Vinayak Bhardwaj, executive director, J-PAL Africa, says: “J-PAL Africa is eager to partner with decision-makers throughout the continent to inform the development and scaling of policies and programmes with evidence.”


With lessons learned from the brink of “Day Zero”, drought and energy procurement plans, the City has partnered with a global research centre to launch a new research lab.

The Water, Air and Energy (WAE) Lab launched by the municipality, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Community Jameel is expected to co-generate evidence and inform policies that effectively improve access to clean air, water and reliable energy for Capetonians.

The evidence generated will also be relevant to growing urban centres in the rest of South Africa and low- and middle-income countries globally.

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