Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor.


IPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building a world with more evidence and less poverty. To that end, IPA designs and evaluates potential solutions to global policy problems and supports decision-makers to use this evidence in policy creation. IPA specializes in conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in these evaluations, because this rigorous evaluation methodology makes it possible to determine to what extent changes in people’s lives can be attributed to a given poverty intervention program.

Special Focus on Women

IPA Ghana has conducted various research projects directly relating to women-owned/led businesses. For example, IPA Ghana jointly with the Principal Investigator (PI) Francisco Moraes Leitao Campos is currently collecting data for the RCT Ghana Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Investment and Gender. The project is evaluating the impact of cash transfers on women-owned SMEs in Accra.

Additionally, IPA Ghana is collecting data for the RCT The Invisible Fishers: Empowering and Safeguarding Women in Fisheries Value Chains in Ghana to Reduce Anemia with Andrew D. Jones as PI. By considering interventions centred on sustainable and scalable improvements to animal production and capture, the project seeks to identify those that have the greatest potential to effectively reduce anemia among women of reproductive age.

List of Sectors Covered

IPA Ghana’s operations focus on the programme areas of Small and Medium Enterprises, Agriculture, Education, Social Protection, Financial Institutions, Health, Environment, Governance, Child Protection and Digital Finance. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are widely seen as engines of economic growth. However, SMEs face constraints to growth that are particularly binding in developing countries. In an effort to unlock the SME Sector’s potential, governments and other institutions spend billions of dollars every year on programmes aimed at reducing the barriers to growth for SMEs.

There is an urgent need for evaluation of SME promotion programmes in order to help steer investments toward the most effective practices. The Small & Medium Enterprise Program at IPA is a coordinated research effort that brings together policymakers and researchers to test innovative solutions to the most binding constraints to SME growth. By working with governments, non-profits, donors, multilateral organizations and the private sector, the SME Program promotes the use of evidence in the design of SME development programs and policies.

List of Services

IPA is a research institution whose activities encompass the following:

  • design and implementation of randomized evaluations to measure the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at helping the poor
  • production of media releases, op-eds and events that highlight and summarize evidence across a particular sector
  • training local organizations and government entities to understand, use, and apply evidence
  • partnering with relevant organizations and agencies to promote and facilitate the adoption of the most effective solutions

Contact person for Women Entrepreneurs
Santiago Jose Sanchez Guiu
Deputy Country Director of IPA Ghana

What kind of support is available for Women-Owned
Businesses (WOBs) now?

With the outbreak of COVID 19, IPA launched the Research for Effective COVID-19 Responses (RECOVR), which is a cross-country panel phone survey to understand the health, economic, and social ramifications of the pandemic in Colombia, Ghana, Bangladesh, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Zambia and the Philippines. IPA is sharing the results of the survey with key partners to assess the needs of Ghana’s vulnerable populations, gain information on the
effects of the government’s COVID-19 response so far, and inform future COVID-19 policy and programming responses. The RECOVR survey targets economic activity and employment, paying particular attention to the gender breakdown of the data in order to determine how women and men in economic activities have been impacted by the pandemic.


Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

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  • 23 October 2021 8:43 am local time

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