3ie Public Lecture

Date: April 15, 2013
Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre A&B, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street
Chair: Phil Davies, 3ie

What evidence-based development has to learn from evidence-based medicine

Speaker: Chris Whitty, LSHTM & DFID

Evidence-based medicine has resulted in better medical practices saving hundreds of thousands of lives across the world. Can evidence-based development achieve the same? Critics argue that it cannot. Technical solutions cannot solve the political problems at the heart of development. Randomized control trials cannot unravel the complexity of development. And these technocratic approaches have resulted in a focus on what can be measured rather than what matters. From the vantage point of a medical practitioner with a key role in development research, Professor Chris Whitty will answer these critics, pointing out that many of the same objections were heard in the early days of evidence-based medicine. Health is also complex, a social issue as well as a technical one. So what are the lessons from evidence-based medicine for filling the evidence gap in development?

What we have learned from 3ie's experience in evidence- based development

Speaker: Howard White, 3ie

The last decade has seen a rapid growth in the production of impact evaluations. What do they tell us, and what do they not? Drawing on the experience of over 100 studies supported by 3ie, Professor Howard White will present some key findings about what works and what doesn't, with examples of how evidence from impact evaluations is being used to improve lives. Better evaluations will lead to better evidence and better policies. What are the strengths and weaknesses of impact evaluations as currently practiced, and how may they be improved?

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