ILAB at the Forefront of Rigorous Research on Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking

Woman selling goods
Philippines DOLE beneficiary with sari-sari store (Peter Srouji)

ILAB has supported impact evaluations since 2005.  In FY 2014 and FY 2015, ILAB funded eighteen randomized controlled trials – one of the most rigorous evaluation methods.

The purpose of these impact evaluations is to understand the effectiveness of various government and non-government programs and interventions in reducing child labor, forced labor or human trafficking.

The Results:

The ILAB-funded impact evaluations studied a variety of interventions, including:  awareness-raising campaigns, girls' mentoring, scholarship and education programs, cash transfers and other income and livelihoods supports. The evaluations examine these interventions in: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India (2), Lesotho, Malawi (2), Mali, Mexico, Nepal (3), Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. 

Links to more information, where available, are provided below.

How are ILAB-funded Impact Evaluations Used? 

Governments and implementing organizations use the results of the impact evaluations to improve the way they design and provide services in order to better allocate resources and increase their impacts on child labor or forced labor.  For example:

  • The Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) used results of the ILAB-funded impact evaluation to make important policy decisions about improvements to a DOLE livelihoods program to assist families of child laborers, prior to a national roll-out of the program.  
  • Academics from the University of California Berkeley have used ILAB funding to shed light on effective and ineffective strategies for building law enforcement officers’ capacity and understanding of forced labor and human trafficking in Nepal.
  • Based on the results of an ILAB-funded impact evaluation in Peru, IPA was able to provide evidence on reductions in school drop-out and child labor that led the Peruvian Ministry of Education to expand a telenovela-style information campaign to all secondary schools in Peru. 
  • UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is using evidence from its ILAB-funded impact evaluations to advocate for improvements in national cash transfer programs that serve millions of children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

ILAB Impact to Action Events

Event photo

In November 2019, ILAB released the results of over fourteen ILAB-funded impact evaluations assessing what works to combat child labor, forced labor and human trafficking around the world. This was the largest-ever single release of randomized control trial evidence on these topics.


  • Contact the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) team for more information at:
  • ILAB's FY14 Impact Evaluation Solicitation and Requirements