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.
  • Tag: results

    Found 11 posts.

    Learning from failure

    By - 22 de November de 2011, 6:37 am

    Failing is embarrassing and inevitable.

    It is for that reason that is very refreshing to find organizations that want to learn from failure, where failure is recognized and built upon, like the Canadian NGO Engineers Without Borders, led by David Damberger, and which produces an Annual Failure Report.

    A good reason for the flourishing of Impact Evaluations is the perception that development economics has failed to produce concrete evidence on what works and what does not.  Generic development questions can only have ideological answers.

    No matter what the evidence, Sachs will probably never agree with Easterly or Moyo. After all, in the words of Bertrand Russell: “the most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way”.

    Knowing what works and what does not can only be drawn from intervention specific evidence, where attribution is uncontested. Failure is only possible when attribution is clear.

    But not all failures are created equal. Read more…

    Monitoring and evaluation systems work…only if they are used

    By - 14 de November de 2011, 3:18 pm

    In the last few years, demand for public program evaluations has increased in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    This has been accompanied by the design and implementation of reliable and timely monitoring systems, that serve as data source for keeping track of public program implementation and results.

    A good monitoring and evaluation system is not enough, even if it is rigorous, if the information is not fed back into new policy design and public accountability frameworks.

    A good incentive that promotes the use of evaluation and monitoring systems is to publicize good practices by public sector institutions. A good example of this is the annual prizes that National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy in Mexico ((CONEVAL), which is the entity that regulates and coordinates social policy evaluations in Mexico.

    This past October, for a second year in a row, CONEVAL awarded its good practice prizes in monitoring and evaluation to Mexican public sector institutions. Read more…

    Policy, politics and evidence: why does it matter?

    By - 8 de August de 2011, 5:05 pm

    Policy, politics and evidence: why does it matter?At the Mind the Gap conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the main theme was how to affect policy with hard evidence. Some would argue that this is the essence of why we evaluate programs.

    We want to know what works and why so we can improve upon what we have, replicate what works or move away from what does not.

    Although it seems reasonable, policy-making is about politics as much as it is about evidence, and as such researchers are now pondering the question of how to make results matter in policy-decisions.

    Two panels in Cuernavaca addressed this key question. Read more…

    Microfinance: big questions and small answers

    By - 28 de July de 2011, 4:25 pm

    Although the effectiveness of microcredit as a development tool has been recently questioned, its use seems to still be out of the discussion.

    In 2009, more than 128 million of the world’s poorest families received some sort of microloan (State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2011).

    Supporters of microcredit argue that it alleviates poverty, creates self-employment, promotes gender equality, empowers women, and increases education.

    On the other hand, critics argue that microloans can hurt the poor by causing over indebtedness and is not effective at addressing the root causes of poverty.

    Not long time ago there were no randomized evaluations of the effect of microcredit, and the discussion relied mostly on qualitative studies, or comparison of borrowers and non-borrowers. Now there are some small answers to this big question. Read more…

    Three sources of evidence for solving development challenges

    By - 26 de July de 2011, 6:35 am

    evidence for solving development challengesSolving development challenges is a complex task. Rigorous research show that some programs do not work as intended and that most that do work have no huge impacts.

    A sensible way to proceed when designing development projects is to be guided by three types of evidence: evidence in the identification of the problem, in the drafting of the solution, and evidence generated from the results.

    Read more…