Gearing up for Making Impact Evaluation Matter

Over the last week, 3ie staff in Delhi, London and Washington were busy coordinating conference logistics, finalising the conference programme, figuring out how to balance 3ie publications and clothing in their suitcases, and putting the last touches to their presentations. This is usual conference preparation for a conference that is going to be different. Why is this conference different? The participant mix – more than 500 people – is balanced among policymakers, programme managers and implementers, and researchers.

How fruity should you be?

A couple of months back the BBC reported a new study which questioned existing advice to eat five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.  Five was not enough according to the study authors, it should be seven.  I really do try each day to eat five portions. Where was I going to find the time and space for these extra two portions?  But this looked like a sound study published in a respected academic journal, with data from over 65,000 people.

How will they ever learn?

The low-quality of education in much of the developing world is no secret. The Annual status of education report (Aser), produced by the Indian NGO Pratham, has been documenting the poor state of affairs in that country for several years. The most recent report highlights the fact that more than half of grade five students can read only at grade two level. Similar statistics are available from around the world.

The importance of buy-in from key actors for impact evaluations to influence policy

At a public forum on impact evaluation a couple of years ago, Arianna Legovini, head of the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation programme (DIME), declared that ‘dissemination is dead’. But her statement does not imply that we should stop the dissemination of impact evaluation findings for influencing policy.

Uganda shows its commitment to evaluation

Uganda’s cabinet has just approved a new monitoring and evaluation policy, which will be officially endorsed and disseminated next month. It comes as a positive signal after several donors suspended aid to the Government and provides a solid foundation to boost the country’s commitment to evidence informed policy-making.

Delivering Global Public Goods

3ie not only funds studies, it also sets international standards for impact evaluation. For the studies we fund, we do this through our review process. For others, we offer quality assurance services and issue conceptual papers and guidelines. We have also launched a replication programme to test the robustness of study findings, and are preparing a registry of planned impact evaluations in low and middle income countries.

Evidence to policy: bridging gaps and reducing divides

Evidence-based policy-making is important but not always straightforward in practice. The complex reality of policy-making processes means that the availability of high quality research is a necessary, but not sufficient, ingredient for evidence informed policy.

Happy Endings for Mozambican Preschoolers

Abandoned by her family and severely malnourished, four-year-old Castera’s story seemed destined for an unhappy ending. But, this is where the plot changes. Taken in by Alda Mate, the strong, determined village chief of Machalucuane, and enrolled in Save the Children’s supported early childhood education program, today Castera is a happy, curious second grader.

Evidence-based development: lessons from evidence-based management

Evidence based development is treading in the footsteps of evidence-based medicine: innovating, testing, and systematically pulling together the results of different studies to see what works, where and why. Other disciplines as diverse as sports science and management have been going down the same route. Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: profiting from evidence-based management by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton contains valuable insights for practitioners of evidence-based development.

What if BRICS countries were committing to evaluation?

In the case of the flagship social safety net program Bolsa Familia, now reaching around 40 million poor Brazilians with a budget of over USD 6 billion, evaluation has been an integral part of the program since its conception. The establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system was one of the main pillars of the program.