An objection I usually hear when discussing with practitioners about using rigorous impact evaluation techniques is “…but these evaluations cost a lot of money”. I always answer that the cost of an evaluation does not depend on the method, but mainly on whether or not you need to collect primary data (I was glad to hear Paul Gertler responding in the same way during a recent … [Read more...] about In search of the lost data
Evaluation methods and techniques
With the purpose of providing support for those in charge of overseeing evaluations, we at the Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness at the IDB are producing guidelines on selected topics and methods. This allows non-evaluators to understand the key steps that are necessary for a credible evaluation to take place. Our latest publication is Building an … [Read more...] about A new evaluation guide for practitioners: labor market programs
It was not a surprise, but certainly an encouraging confirmation: the use of rigorous impact evaluation methodologies has spread beyond social sectors. I just participated in the conference “Mind the Gap: From Evidence to Policy Impact” and I was glad to see that 8 out 38 parallel sessions were devoted to discussing impact evaluations of programs and projects aimed at … [Read more...] about Beyond social sectors: “Productive” Impact Evaluations
At the closing session of the Mind the Gap: From Evidence to Policy Impact conference that took place on June 17th, the Chilean Planning Minister Felipe Kast made some interesting points about how to persuade politicians to embrace evaluations. His perspective is interesting as until last year he was an academic engaged in impact evaluations, and today he is one of the … [Read more...] about Policy, politics and impact evaluation
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?