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Impact Evaluation: Can We Learn More? Better?

The following presentations are from a conference hosted by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and co-sponsored by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) on July 17, 2013.

Closing the Evaluation Gap


In this four-minute clip from 2010, CGD senior fellow William Savedoff and former vice president Ruth Levine tell the story of how CGD’s Closing the Evaluation Gap initiative led to the creation of the International Institute for Impact Evaluation (3ie), a new institute for impact evaluation. Savedoff explains that before the 3ie, there was a gap in information between the implementation of aid programs and the eventual impact of those programs. For example, we knew that schools were built, but how many children attended the school and what did they learn? Such information was not as readily available. Savedoff and Levine formed a working group that promoted two major recommendations in its final report: (1) aid agencies need to invest more in their own capacity to do impact evaluations and (2)  independent institutions need to be created to mobilize and channel funding for high-quality impact evaluations. 3ie became that organization, and with the help of CGD it is working to close the evaluation gap. Learn more about this CGD initiative here.

Impact Evaluations and the 3ie: William Savedoff

Efforts to design better aid programs often are hampered by the failure to evaluate what works—and what doesn’t—in existing programs. Today, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation and other important efforts are helping fill the evaluation gap.

My guest this week is senior fellow Bill Savedoff. He was a member of the Center for Global Development’s 2004 Evaluation Gap Working Group, led by Ruth Levine, that urged and helped create a new institution for impact evaluation: the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, or 3ie (“Triple I E”). Following a recent CGD speech by Esther Duflo on the importance of impact evaluation, I sat down with Bill to talk about how new impact evaluations are shaping development projects and policy.

FAI Insights: What Is Rigorous Impact Evaluation?

Rachel Nugent

Michael Clemens, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD)
and visiting scholar at the Financial Access Initiative and at NYU-Wagner
and the NYU Dept. of Economics (Spring 2011), talks about the findings from
his research into the UN Millennium Villages.

Evaluating the Millennium Villages: Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes

An aquaculture project in Bar Sauri, Kenya.In development, it's good to try new, innovative ideas-- but even better to know whether or not they work. My guests this week are Michael Clemens, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, and Gabriel Demombynes, a senior economist at the World Bank, based in Nairobi, Kenya. They have written a new paper in which they argue that one very high profile development program, the Millennium Villages Project, isn’t being evaluated in a way that would provide clear evidence of its impacts. They propose a better way to evaluate the project.