Measuring the 'hard to measure' in development: Abstract, multi-dimensional concepts and processes

Speaker: Dr Anne Buffardi
Time: 12.45-14.00 GMT
Venue: LG7, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, WC1E 7HT

Development is a multi-dimensional, imprecise concept. Initiatives that aim to improve development attempt to address entrenched economic and social issues, increasingly through multi-component programmes, involve diverse sets of stakeholders pursuing different, sometimes competing interests, and must adapt to shifting contexts. They operate under conditions of uncertainty and complexity. Each of these factors poses challenges for measurement validity and reliability.
Based on common challenges that arose through development initiatives, we identified four hard-to-measure dimensions of development: abstract, multi-dimensional concepts, processes, and issues; challenging settings where there are unpredictable, sudden, or frequent shifts in the environment; multiple, uncertain pathways of change; and multi-layer implementing structures.

This lecture focuses on the first dimension, discussing construct validity and three examples of multi-faceted concepts: evidence-informed decision-making, youth transitions to adulthood and human rights-based approaches to development.

Start Date: 04 March 2020 End Date: 04 March 2020

About the speaker

Anne Buffardi is a Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Her research examines how different stakeholders engage in different phases of the policy process, including their use of different types of evidence to inform decision-making and development policy and practice. Anne has worked on multi-component, multi-site initiatives in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and emerging economies, predominantly on global health and governance issues.