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Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Planning ahead: Key to a successful impact evaluation

    21
    May
    2015

    By

    By Maria Amelia Gibbons* and Xia Li**

    TORS for an impact evaluation

    An impact evaluation should be considered an “operation within an operation” and requires adequate funding, appropriate staff, and sufficient technical support.  You will likely need to identify and contract service providers. It is very important in terms of cost- and time-efficiency to have carefully established the roles and responsibilities, activities, products, and schedules of the parties involved in an impact evaluation.

    Terms of Reference (TORs) will help you specify  the roles and responsibilities of the members of the impact evaluation team. You can use a comprehensive TOR for a single service provider, or issue separate TORs for each party involved, including the data collection, the principle investigator, technical support and supervision. Read more…

    What does energy efficiency have to do with hotels in the Caribbean?

    14
    May
    2015

    By

    By Christiaan Gischler* and Alice Driver**

    The Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Program (CHENACT) helps hotels embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    Bridgetown (Barbados ) tourist destination in the Caribbean. Photo : Getty Images.

    Bridgetown (Barbados ) tourist destination in the Caribbean. | Photo : Getty Images.

    Around 25 million tourists visit the Caribbean each year, making tourism a key driver of the economy that accounts for 30 to 50% of direct and indirect employment in some countries. In most families, at least one member is employed in the hotel or tourism industry. Traditionally, hoteliers focused on expanding the number of available rooms in order to increase profits, but the 2008-2012 international economic crisis sparked a decline of up to 15% in tourist visitors.

    That has forced hoteliers to find smart ways to reduce costs while maintaining the high quality of tourism services. Where to start? Perhaps with the sun, the air conditioning, and the light switch. Read more…

    What you need to design an impact evaluation

    7
    May
    2015

    By

    Designing an impact evaluation that is rigorous, feasible and relevant can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Political, technical, and operational criteria that at first might seem incompatible must be reconciled and made to work in unison. The good news is that there is often a way around these seemingly competing criteria, and a growing number of high-quality impact evaluations are being carried out. The experiences gleaned from these evaluations have now been translated into tools that all of us can use to design better impact evaluations! The IDB’s Impact Evaluation Hub incorporates this state-of-the-art material, which you are invited to access as you work on your next impact evaluation. Read more…

    Escuela Nueva: A Promising Model in Need of Better Evidence

    30
    Apr
    2015

    By

    By Felipe Barrera-Osorio**

    modelo_escuela_nueva_3Caldas, Colombia. As part of the 30-year anniversary celebration of the alliance between Escuela Nueva and the Colombia’s National Coffee Federation, I was invited in 2012 to speak about public-private partnerships in education. The event included a presentation by five articulate, passionate and interesting teenagers about a science project on composting techniques to reduce waste in small farms. One of the teenagers told the guests that her family had incorporated some of these ideas at her farm.  All five of them were students from an Escuela Nueva school in this coffee region of Colombia.

    Escuela Nueva is a large pedagogical model that started in the seventies in a handful of rural primary schools (grades 1 to 5) in Colombia. Nowadays it is used throughout the rural areas in the country in both primary and secondary (grades 6 to 11). What makes the model special is that there are very few new pedagogical models such as Escuela Nueva that have been implemented at scale in developing countries, as one recent post in the New York Times argues. Each school usually has one or two teachers each with a small group of students—typically six— from different grades who sit at hexagonal tables. The students work at their own rhythm with the help of special textbooks and workbooks (the guides) in subjects ranging from Spanish to natural sciences. The guides strike a balance between being highly prescriptive and being flexible. They contain practical examples and applications to rural areas. The teacher is a facilitator, visiting each table and helping the students with the readings and discussions. The governance of the classroom is shared between teachers and students; usually, there is a class president elected by students. Read more…

    Winds of Change in Uruguay

    16
    Apr
    2015

    By

    Por Steven Collins*

    Uruguay is demonstrating that there is more to renewable energy than lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Palmatir Wind Project in Uruguay | Photo: Palmatir’s project.

    The Palmatir Wind Project in Uruguay | Photo: Palmatir’s project.

    Renewable energy is a big deal inUruguay; over two-thirds of the country’s energy comes from hydropower. However, droughts in past years have left the country’s reservoirs dangerously low, and as a result, hydropower facilities have struggled to meet the country’s rising energy demands. To help, Uruguay has turned to the private sector to kick-start the development of other renewable energy technologies, primarily wind and solar. There are now dozens of projects, both public and private, making Uruguay’s energy sector a greener industry, and the country is now focused intensely not only on achieving ambitious nationwide green energy goals, but also on better understanding and incorporating environmental and social concerns as it works to meet those goals. Read more…

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