I just finished Jeremy Adelman´s biography of Albert O. Hirschman, Wordly Philosopher. It is a deep and detailed account of the life of a remarkable person. Reading it is a breath of fresh air, in which the values of integrity and consistency stand out in a career full of difficulties. Too original, too bold, too interdisciplinary, too reformist or too liberal. He suffered … [Read more...] about Hirschman or the years of thinking differently
Are we supporting sound investments? Are they making a difference? How do we know and learn? How can others know? These are questions that we ask our-selves every day, and although we don’t have all the answers – nobody does – every year we attempt to get closer at having them and to report on what we have learned in our Development Effectiveness Overview. … [Read more...] about Everything you always wanted to know on IDB projects, but were afraid to ask
In addition to the evaluation workshop that Fazia was referring to in her blog, a second event was taking place last week Chile. The Chilean Public Policy Society annual forum included a panel to answer the question on whether public policy evaluation is worth the effort put into it. The panel included Ignacio Irarrázabal, who is the director of the Public Policy Center … [Read more...] about Institutionalizing evaluation: 5 ideas from Chile
When the Oportunidades program began in Mexico in 1998―under the name Progresa―few could have imagined what this initiative would mean 10 years later, not only for the country, but for development theory and practice. This pioneer in conditional cash transfers incorporated an innovative impact assessment methodology that has become not only an example of development … [Read more...] about Just half an inch, but a lot of impact
A few days ago I attended a book presentation on experimental evaluations where one participant stated, "this is all well and good, but it does not apply to institutional reforms; one cannot ‘randomize’ the reform of a ministry." Similarly, a document from a bilateral aid agency stated that it can experimentally evaluate only 5 percent of the total development assistance … [Read more...] about Can we randomize institutional reform?