Development that Works
  • About

    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.
  • Strengthening impact evaluation step by step in the Caribbean countries



    By Leticia Donoso

    Putting together a development project is both exhilarating and exhausting. Sometimes, when the negotiation stage is behind us, the project is being implemented, and all that’s left to do is the final reports, we are obligated to take a retrospective look back and ask a basic question: What was the development objective we were trying to achieve? What result were we trying to obtain? And finally, did we improve the lives of the population we were trying to serve? What did we learn?

    The best way to assure ourselves that we have a response to these questions is to formulate them well before it is necessary to submit project completion reports. More specifically, it is essential to formulate the questions when we design the project. Knowing clearly what type of project is going to be financed and what actions are going to be taken and why are key aspects to be able to evaluate a project and learn from it.  Read more…

    Call for papers on impact evaluation



    Por Oscar Mitnik

    Online paper submission

    The Impact Evaluation Network (IEN) of the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) is calling for papers to be presented at its 11th Annual Meeting, to be held joint with the 2018 RIDGE May Forum, this coming May 22nd and 23rd, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Read more…

    Do Government Audits Reduce Corruption? Evidence from Brazil



    By Eric Avis, Claudio Ferraz, and Frederico Finan

    Every year billions of dollars in government funds go missing. Whether these resources are diverted into the pockets of public officials, redistributed as bribes, or otherwise misused, these acts of corruption pose serious threats to government effectiveness and public trust around the world.

    In recent years, a number of corruption scandals have unfolded here in Latin America—from the Panama Papers to the Odebrecht settlement. Encouragingly, state institutions, and citizens themselves, are increasingly demanding accountability. In Brazil, the “Car Wash” investigation has led to convictions of top former government officials on corruption charges, and in Guatemala citizens are pushing for continuation of the country’s anticorruption campaign. Read more…

    Rebuilding with Local Force: Response to Hurricane Sandy Strengthens Haitian Firms



    By Reinaldo Fioravanti and Alejandro Fros

    Haiti was still recovering from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Sandy hit the island on October 23, 2012. The deadliest and most destructive storm of that year’s Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy caused enormous damage in Haiti, displacing 19,000 people and damaging or destroying more than 27,700 homes.

    Rebuilding Haiti

    Reconstruction of IDB Country Office in Haiti after the earthquake disaster. Image: IDB.

    Torrential rains caused landslides, eroded riverbanks, and damaged transport infrastructure, leaving many communities isolated. Haiti’s southern departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes, South, and Southeast were hardest hit.

    The government declared a state of emergency following the storm and requested IDB support to initiate reconstruction. Read more…

    Music as an Opportunity for Development: An Alternative Approach to Improve Lives of Young People in Venezuela



    By Xiomara Alemán, Suzanne Duryea, Nancy Guerra, Patrick McEwan, Rodrigo Muñoz, Marco Stampini, and Ariel Williamson

    Who could have imagined four decades ago that a few Venezuelan musicians rehearsing in a garage would lay the foundation for a project that to date has enrolled millions of children and adolescents?

    But that’s just what the Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Choirs and Orchestras (El Sistema) has done.

    Music as an Opportunity for Development

    Image: El Sistema.

    Founded in 1975 and administered by the Fundación Musical Simón Bolivar (Fundamusical), the program has received national and international awards honoring its musical and social initiatives. More than 25 countries have either completely or partially replicated the program. Some of those efforts have been supported by the IDB through technical cooperation grants.

    Despite its international reputation, however, El Sistema had never been subject to an impact evaluation to rigorously measure its benefits. Read more…

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