Lessons from the field: making impact evaluations work on the ground
Speakers: Deo-Gracias Houndolo, Impact Evaluation Specialist, 3ie &
Radhika Menon, Senior Communications Officer, 3ie
Date: May 13, 2013
3ie is funding 112 impact evaluations of development programmes in 41 low- and middle-income countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. In addition to providing evidence of development interventions that work, these projects are teaching us about what’s working well in designing and conducting impact evaluations, and what can be done better to ensure research produces reliable and actionable findings.
To get a sense of what has been happening on the ground and to understand the challenges related to implementing impact evaluations, 3ie is carrying out field visits to study sites. The first of these visits have been to projects in Uganda and India, assessing studies in diverse sectors like biofortification, microfinance, payment for ecosystem services and HIV/AIDS. We met a range of people involved in the impact evaluations – programme implementers, researchers, field coordinators, enumerators and project beneficiaries.
Our visits raised a number of questions. What is the difference between how an impact evaluation is sketched out in a proposal and how it works on the ground? How does the relationship between researchers and an implementing agency influence an impact evaluation? How does one prevent conflicts that may arise during the implementation of an impact evaluation? What are the road blocks to using research findings?
These field visits helped us gain insights and learn about the complex realities on the ground. We will present the findings from these field visits and get the conversation going on ways to overcome some of these challenges.