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.
  • What Works in Development?



    Given the importance that institutionalization of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacities is assuming in the Region, on Thursday March 15 at the IDB Annual Meeting we organized jointly with IDRC the seminar “What works in development? Impact evaluation for the design and implementation of public policies. The seminar was a very stimulating opportunity to generate a high level debate on this topic though a sector perspective.

    During the seminar the new edition of the Development Effectiveness Overview was also launched.

    After an opening session that tried to guide the audience by giving an answer to the question “Where do we stand?,” the objective of the first session was to discuss the achievements and the challenges of institutionalizing M&E in social sectors.

    Specifically, the panel focused the discussion on the current situation in Uruguay and analyzed the lessons learnt from countries such as Mexico.

    During the second session we focused on achievements and challenges for the productive sectors.

    Particular attention was devoted to the analysis of the challenges and tensions between design and implementation of innovation and productive development policies and difficulties (both technical and political) in evaluating such policies.

    Some attention was also devoted to the achievements of the region, particularly the case of Colombia, and how to address issues related to improvement of access and quality of information.

    Finally, the third session discussed achievements and challenges for the infrastructure sector.  This session focused on the role Governments play in defining results based budgets and development of planning capacity based on inputs generated by impact evaluations.

    In the next few days we are going to provide some specific information on each sector. As for now, in order to stimulate the debate, refer to the PowerPoints linked above and the following 10 questions below that enhanced the discussion during the seminar at the Edificio Mercosur:

    1. What are the most relevant criteria to choose what programs to evaluate
    2. How can we use impact evaluations to redistribute benefits, for example increasing one program and closing down another one?
    3. What is the role of multilateral institutions in supporting the process of institutionalization of impact evaluations?
    4. How can we share both at technical and political level lessons learnt from evaluations?
    5. Some countries made already great progress in institutionalizing: what challenges do they face now. Conversely, what are the challenges for the countries that are just starting institutionalizing?
    6. How can we prioritize programs in the productive sectors?
    7. What are the main lessons learnt from institutionalization of evaluations in productive sectors?
    8. What role can regional institutions play in divulgating knowledge and lessons learnt from successful evaluations?
    9. What are the challenges for planning strategically based on results?
    10. Are there trade-offs in using information as a management tool vis-à-vis as an accountability tool for stakeholders and the public?

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